A Source Document for Illinois Justice: The Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens

The document represented below is transcribed from the original. The original source document is referenced in the book Illinois Justice: The Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens by Kenneth A. Manaster, published by the University of Chicago Press.

JUNE 17, 1969

No. 39797

People v. Isaacs


        A motion has been filed with the Clerk of the Court which requests that this Court investigate its decision in #39797 People v. Isaacs, 37 Ill. 2d 205, and that Sherman H. Skolnick and Harriet Sherman be granted leave to appear as amici curiae.

        The motion for leave to appear as amici curiae is denied.

        On the Court's own motion a Special Commission is appointed to investigate the charges contained in the motion insofar as they relate to the integrity of the judgment entered by this Court in this case.
The Commission will be composed of the following:
        (1) Henry L. Pitts, Incoming President of the Illinois State Bar Association, and one member of that Association selected by him.
        (2) Frank Greenberg, Incoming President of the Chicago Bar Association and one member of that Association selected by him.
        (3) A fifth member, selected by the two incoming presidents.
        (4) The five members shall select one of their number to serve as chairman.

        The Special Commission may employ such assistance as it deems necessary. It is authorized to subpoena witnesses and order the production of documents, and to conduct public or private hearings or a combination of both, as it shall determine. Any witness who appears before the Commission shall have the right to be represented by counsel, and the hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of evidence. The Commission is directed to proceed expeditiously and to file its report on or before August 1, 1969. When the Commission files its report with the Clerk of this Court, it is directed to file copies simultaneously with the Committee of the House of Representatives appointed pursuant to House Resolution H 249, and with the Illinois Courts Commission.

        Normally the internal proceedings of this Court in conference are not disclosed. However, in view of the circumstances of this case we release the following information: It is not uncommon for the members of this Court, or any other reviewing court, to disagree as to a decision. This case involved questions which were not easily resolved and the members of the court were not in agreement as to their proper solution. The trial court had dismissed all counts of the indictment under which defendant Isaacs was charged. An opinion of this Court was prepared which sustained the judgment of the trial court as to twenty-three of the counts, including Count X, but reversed that court's dismissal as to ten counts and required Isaacs to stand trial. That opinion was not adopted by the Court. An opinion was subsequently adopted which sustained dismissal of all counts as to defendant Isaacs. That opinion was adopted by a 4-2 vote. No dissents were filed. The petition for rehearing, which was denied, requested a rehearing with respect to Count X of the indictment only. Mr. Justice Ward did not participate because as State's Attorney of Cook County, he had been involved in an investigation of matters concerned in the indictment.

        The members of this Court have all filed annual statements of economic interests and relationships as required by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act (1967 Ill. Rev. Stat., pars. 601-101 through 607-101) and the Rules of this Court. Those statements are now on file in sealed envelopes in the office of the Administrator of the Illinois Court System and may be opened only upon the order of this Court. Those statements by the members of this Court, and the relevant income tax returns of the members of this Court and their wives will be made available for inspection by the members of this Commission only.

_________________________ C. J.
Roy J. Solfisburg, Jr.
_________________________ J.
Walter V. Schaefer
_________________________ J.
Ray I. Klingbiel
_________________________ J.
Byron O. House
_________________________ J.
Robert C. Underwood
_________________________ J.
Thomas E. Kluczynski
_________________________ J.
Daniel P. Ward