I’m as paranoid as anyone when it comes to Illinois politics, but as a lawyer I also have to trust my common sense and years of observation: I’m pretty sure the elevation of Burke (in and of itself) won’t have an impact on the decision in the recently argued privilege case [Hot Type, April 14].

As exhibit A, take a look at past opinions. The justices themselves have never shown much reluctance to rip each other in majority or dissenting opinions if they think their brethren got it wrong.

Now, the fact that they thought highly enough of her to rubber-stamp her nomination might seem like some sort of telegraphed signal. However, you could also argue that it had nothing to do at all with what they thought of Burke (only that they don’t necessarily think she’s a raving lunatic), but instead with how much esteem they regard McMorrow. And instead of believing that they wouldn’t rip into her lower opinion at the same time they welcome her to their ranks, you might also be led to believe that they would tear her to shreds simply to show her where she is in the court’s pecking order.

If you’re into conspiracy theories, there’s plenty of ways you could look at the situation. But there is such a thing as too much paranoia (if not cynicism), even for Illinois reporters.

Tim Howe