Durbin Announces Congressional Approval of Legislation to Name Rockford Courthouse After Judge Roszkowski

First Durbin authored bill sent to President Obama for his signature

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the passage of legislation by both the House and the Senate to name the United States District Courthouse in Rockford, Illinois after Stanley J. Roszkowski, former Federal Judge in the Northern District of Illinois. Roszkowski, who served in combat as a member of a bomber crew in World War II, played an integral role in bringing a new federal courthouse to Rockford. This legislation is the first bill authored by Durbin that will be sent to President Obama for his signature.


“Stanley Roszkowski has dedicated his life to serving his country,” said Durbin. “During his time as a judge, Roszkowski worked tirelessly to establish a permanent courthouse in Rockford. Soon after, he began advocating for a new courthouse when the current building was no longer adequate to handle the growing caseload. It is with great pride that I join my colleagues in sending this fitting tribute to President Obama for his signature.”


Stanley J. Roszkowski was raised in Royalton in southern Illinois, one of fifteen children. During World War II, he volunteered for the Army Air Corps and served as a nose gunner on a B26 bomber, flying over 35 missions in Italy and Germany. After the war he went on to earn his B.A. from the University of Illinois and then his law degree, working as an appliance salesman to pay for school and meeting his wife Catherine.


When he moved to Rockford, he opened up a successful law practice and became involved in his community. He gave up this practice when President Carter appointed him to the bench, serving for the next twenty years as a Federal Judge in the Northern District of Illinois. He became known for running a business-like but relaxed courtroom, and was praised by his peers for being extremely knowledgeable, fair and objective, and a gentlemen at all times, with a wide breadth of experience and an uncommon sense of decency.


Representatives Jerry Costello (D-IL) and Don Manzullo (R-IL) worked to see that this legislation was passed in the House of Representatives earlier today. Durbin and Manzullo succeeded in securing the federal funds necessary to construct the new Rockford courthouse – a total of more than $99 million. The existing Rockford courthouse was built more than 25 years ago. It is filled to capacity and has structural problems that would be prohibitively expensive to repair, impeding efficient functioning of the court. In addition, the lack of a separate prisoner entrance compromises security at the facility.