Judge Aaron Jaffe: Reforming Illinois is an oral history of Aaron Jaffe’s legislative, judicial, and executive branch careers. It is also a story of how the author met Judge Jaffe and gained wisdom from a master politician operating in one of America’s most notorious political battlegrounds.
As legislator, Jaffe changed rape laws to reflect victims’ perspectives. Though white, he was recruited to the Black Caucus because of a better voting record than other legislators, black or white. As judge, he presided over divorce laws he passed as legislator and, in Chancery Court, preserved the Auditorium Theatre for Roosevelt University. As chair of the Illinois Gaming Board, he kept Illinois from adding other episodes to its scandal-ridden traditions.
In mutual appreciation, Aaron Jaffe listened to stories of genuine characters in Illinois politics that defy the imagination of fiction writers. Their hilarious foibles, machinations, and insights appear in this volume, alongside Judge Jaffe’s witty observations about humans as political animals.