In his letter to the editor, (Backing Knapp for circuit judge," Jan. 19), Mark Wilkins honed in on one word from Judge McFarland's recent interview - the word "social" - and then applied a completely different meaning to what she said.
Context is important, as are definitions, so let's look at her entire quote. First, Guardians Ad Litem are attorneys who are specially trained and court-appointed to investigate child-related issues in family court cases. Speaking specifically about the GAL training program, Judge McFarland said: “It trains (GALs) how to represent the interests of the child in court. I appoint them. I trained them to have compassion. We’re looking for signs of abuse and domestic violence, so that’s more social work type of training that these attorneys receive.”
There is a significant difference between the terms "social worker" and "social justice warrior." For the sake of those who hear the word "social" and see blue, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "social workers help individuals, groups, and families prevent and cope with problems in their everyday lives." Which is exactly one of the things that family court judges do regardless of their political affiliations, as do the GALs assigned to those cases.
On the other hand, a "social justice warrior" is simply a person who promotes socially progressive views.
Judge McFarland is a Republican. Wilkins would do well to understand context and definitions of words before he attempts to use them to cast aspersions against others.
Experience, temperament, leadership and impartiality matter when it comes to justice. Judge Amy McFarland is the only candidate who has the faith of the legal community, as evidenced by her high ratings in the IL Bar Association's judicial advisory poll. Vote for her, or vote for the candidate who earned the rating of "not recommended."
Nickie Byers, Normal