Rebecca Pallmeyer to be first female chief judge in long history of Chicago’s federal court


U.S. District Decide Rebecca Pallmeyer will turn into the first lady to go the federal courtroom in Chicago, succeeding Ruben Castillo as chief decide on July 1.

“Clearly, it’s an enormous honor and a thrill,’’ Pallmeyer, noting the historic first for a courtroom marking its two hundredth birthday in 2019, stated Thursday in a telephone interview. “I assume I really feel like it’s taken a long time, however I’m comfortable it’s occurring now.’’

Pallmeyer, who was nominated by President Invoice Clinton, has been a district decide within the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse since October 1998 and served as a federal Justice of the Peace in the same courthouse for seven years before that.

She stated she hopes to remain in the position till she turns 70.

Castillo, who himself broke limitations as each the first Latino federal decide in Chicago and its first Latino chief decide, praised Pallmeyer’s love of the courtroom, dedication and work ethic, saying she is usually the primary to arrive at work and the final to go away.

A well-liked determine with colleagues, Pallmeyer is unassuming and affected person with defendants and legal professionals. She commutes by practice and walks to a Metra station in fitness center footwear. She lately advised reporters she is learning to play the cello.

“It’s actually a shame that in 200 years a feminine has not been the chief decide of this courtroom,” stated Castillo, who indicated he’s stepping down early at sixty four. “I informed myself there’s one thing you are able to do.”

Castillo stated he realizes the Hispanic group could also be disillusioned, but he hopes it understands.

“I hope that they might perceive that I’m doing this for an important purpose,” he stated. “It’s the correct thing to do.”

Castillo wouldn’t say if he deliberate to remain on the courtroom after he steps down as chief decide.

Pallmeyer, 64, grew up in St. Louis, the daughter of a Lutheran minister. She attended Valparaiso College in northwest Indiana, learning historical past and the humanities.

Her determination to turn out to be a lawyer was solidified at some point in school whereas scooping corn and mashed potatoes onto her plate in the faculty cafeteria.

“You’re going to regulation faculty, proper, because I do know you love to argue?” a good friend asked her.

“The concept someday I might be federal decide was unimaginable,” Pallmeyer stated. “A chief decide? It was simply not even in my calculus.”

She graduated from the University of Chicago Regulation Faculty in 1979 and labored in her first job as a regulation clerk for Rosalie Wahl, the primary…



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