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Daniel Epstein runs for Illinois Supreme Court in a campaign inspired by Amartya Sen
CHICAGO, IL -Daniel Epstein, the brother-in-law of former Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar, is running to join the Illinois Supreme Court. Pawar is fully supporting the former Jenner & Block attorney, whose platform is focused on reforming court rules to prevent judicial corruption and to make courts more accessible to the average person.“Having Ameya behind us inspires our whole team,” said Epstein of his brother-in-law, who is the first Indian American and first Asian American to have served as an alderman in Chicago. “Ameya represents courage and compassion, and we’re taking those qualities with us in our fight for justice. Ameya didn’t accept the status quo and neither do we.”
Epstein’s platform pledges to end the practice of allowing judges to determine for themselves whether they can decide cases in which they have alleged conflicts of interest. “Allowing a judge with an alleged conflict of interest to determine whether they have a conflict of interest is itself a conflict of interest,” Epstein said. “An independent individual or body should make that decision.” Epstein also wants to use technology to make it more convenient and affordable for average people to access courts. “Many have phones and computers that allow video chat,” said Epstein. “Some jurisdictions are already using that technology to allow people
to handle court cases remotely, so that folks with disabilities have an easier time using our courts, and so people with jobs don’t have to take a day off of work to handle a routine legal matter.” Epstein predicts it will save time and money for many people, including the elderly, the disabled, and families with child care needs. Epstein said he is guided in his philosophy by Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize-winning economist from India whose ground-breaking research found that famines are class- based disasters, and that they are preventable. “We are experiencing a famine of sorts.
Not a famine of food, but a famine of justice. Sen found that famines are able to persist when they impact the most marginalized segments of society and the press is prevented
from effectively informing the public about the problem. We’re experiencing the same thing in our justice system.” Epstein explained that critical information that could expose corruption and abuse disappears when criminal cases end in guilty pleas, and that the Illinois Supreme Court could make simple changes that would ensure that such information makes the public record.
Epstein is touring Cook County and meeting voters to talk about his platform and to hear about their concerns. To learn more, visit www.epsteinforsupremecourt.com.