First Latino Appellate Judge Reyes sworn in
January 31, 2013
Jesse G. Reyes recently was sworn in as a judge of the Illinois Appellate Court as his wife, Terry, and daughter, Renee, looked on.

Jesse G. Reyes, the first Latino elected to serve as an appellate judge in Illinois, recently was sworn into office on the Illinois Appellate Court. Reyes had spent more than a decade as a Cook County Circuit Court judge.

He said he was “proud of the opportunity” that the voters had given him and that he would work to make the voters proud of him.

He noted he believes he was “elected on my record — 14 years as a trial court judge with diverse experience,” Reyes said. The Illinois Appellate Court decides more than 80% of cases appealed in the State. Reyes’s term will last ten years.

Reyes was the first Latino president of the Illinois Judges Association and the first Latino to win a county-wide judicial election in Cook County. He has worked with the government of Mexico in its endeavor to institute a new trial system.

Latinos comprise about 5% of elected judges in Cook County. Reyes, 60, grew up in the Pilsen community and graduated from John Marshall Law School. Before becoming a judge, he worked in the legal departments of the Chicago Board of Education and the City of Chicago.