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A week and a half after giving birth to her first child, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan was back on her feet, arguing her first case before the United States Supreme Court. And her arguments prevailed. In the case last November, Illinois v. Caballes, Madigan argued in favor of giving police greater leeway to use drug-sniffing dogs without breaching the Fourth Amendment. The justices sided with her by a 6-2 vote. “It was a very important law enforcement issue,” she explained as to why she rushed off to Washington from the maternity ward. As the first female attorney general of Illinois and a new mother, Madigan has grown accustomed to multitasking. She oversees a department with approximately 300 lawyers statewide that receives more than 22,000 consumer complaints a year. She also prosecutes more than 500 criminal cases a year, and collects more than $770 million on behalf of the state of Illinois. “I really view this job as being the people’s lawyer,” Madigan said. “My desire is to use my advocacy skills and my legal background to help people.” Often, that means working around the clock. Madigan said that after factoring in the time she sometimes spends checking work-related e-mails when her daughter wakes her up at 3 a.m., her workday often amounts to at least 15 hours. Among the various issues on Madigan’s packed agenda are lifetime supervision for sex offenders, enactment of stronger laws to control the use of methamphetamines, prevention of tobacco companies from targeting minors, disability rights, and working with parents to protect youth from sexual solicitations on the Internet. “As the first woman attorney general in Illinois, I spend a lot of time focusing on domestic violence and sex offenders, the impact on women and children, how to better prevent [crimes against women] from happening, and better law enforcement response,” she said. Madigan is also credited with challenging the integrity of the state’s gaming industry; taking on AmeriDebt Inc., a debt-management company, for hiding fees and failing to send debtors’ payments to creditors; and improving the state’s sex offender registry by adding updates and a Spanish-language version. She filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court affirmative action case, Grutter v. Bollinger, backed reform of the death penalty and challenged the Bush administration on environmental policies. “The greatest thing about the job is that you’re always contending with issues, and how you can make sure people and companies are obeying the law,” Madigan said. Madigan, who lives in Chicago with her daughter Rebecca and her husband, a cartoonist, began her career as an associate at the Chicago firm Sachnoff & Weaver, specializing in employment law. In 1998, she took a leave of absence to campaign for a seat in the Illinois state Senate. In a close race, Madigan prevailed, and held the position for four years before running for attorney general. Prior to her legal career, her r�sum� includes teaching young women in South Africa during apartheid, and working as assistant dean for Adult and Continuing Education at Wilbur Wright College in Chicago.

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