Michael N. Cook is sworn in as a St. Clair County Circuit Judge on Oct. 1, 2010, at the county building in Belleville, Ill. He resigned from the bench on Wednesday (May 29, 2013). Cook was charged May 23 by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois with possessing weapons while under the influence of heroin, a felony, and misdemeanor heroin possession.
The Illinois Supreme Court has opened the door to divorce for people who need guardians because of mental disabilities.
For years, Illinois has barred mentally disabled people or their guardians from seeking a divorce. Experts say that included people with severe brain damage but also people who could make their wishes known despite Alzheimer's disease or mental illness.
In a ruling Thursday, the Supreme Court said an outright ban is no longer appropriate. It said case-by-case hearings should determine what is in the disabled person's best interests.