Thomas was elected a judge of the Circuit Court of DuPage County in 1988, serving as acting chief judge from 1989 to 1994. He was elected to the Appellate Court, Second District, in 1994 and was sworn in as an Illinois Supreme Court justice for the Second District in 2000, serving as chief justice from 2005 to 2008.
Robert R. Thomas was born on Aug. 7, 1952, in Rochester, N.Y. He received his bachelor of arts in government from the University of Notre Dame in 1974, and was named an Academic All-American in that same year. He received his juris doctor from Loyola University School of Law in 1981.
He was elected Circuit Court Judge in DuPage County in 1988. There, he presided over civil jury trials and was the Acting Chief Judge from 1989 to 1994. In 1994, Judge Thomas was elected to the Appellate Court Second District.
On Dec. 4, 2000, Justice Thomas was sworn in as the Illinois Supreme Court Justice for the Second District. Justice Thomas was elected to serve as Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice on Sept. 6, 2005, and served as the Chief Justice until Sept. 5, 2008.
In April 1996, Justice Thomas was inducted into the Academic All-American Hall of Fame, and in January 1999, he received the prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. Justice Thomas is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association