On December 12, 2008, Madigan attracted national attention after filing a motion with the Supreme Court of Illinois to temporarily remove Governor Rod Blagojevich from office. The motion was subsequently denied by the court without a hearing, and Blagojevich was subsequently impeached and removed from office by the Illinois General Assembly.
Madigan attended The Latin School of Chicago for her secondary education. In 1988 she received her bachelor's degree from Georgetown University. She received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as a teacher and community organizer, developing after-school programs to help keep kids involved in education and away from drugs and gangs. Madigan also volunteered as a high school teacher in South Africa during apartheid. Madigan later worked as a litigator for the Chicago law firm of Sachnoff & Weaver.
Madigan was elected and served as an Illinois state senator from 1998 through 2002, during which time she worked down the hall from Barack Obama. In 2002 she ran for Attorney General of Illinois and narrowly defeated Joe Birkett with 50.4% of the vote. In 2006 she was re-elected with 72.4% of the vote against Tazewell County State's Attorney Stewart "Stu" Umholtz.
Notably, Madigan became the first Illinois Attorney General in more than 25 years to personally argue a case before the United States Supreme Court. In 2004, she successfully argued Illinois v. Caballes, where the court reaffirmed the ability of police officers to use specially trained dogs without a search warrant or probable cause to detect the presence of illegal drugs during traffic stops.
In 2002, Madigan received a $25,000 donation from a black metal musician Andrew Harris. When Harris's relation to the black metal band Judas Iscariot came to light, Madigan agreed to donate the money to anti-hate groups, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Madigan has had a strained relationship with former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Her father Michael Madigan, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, has had a feud with Blagojevich.
She was considered a potential candidate for Governor of Illinois or the United States Senate in the near future; however, on July 8, 2009, she announced she was running for reelection as Illinois Attorney General instead of seeking higher office in 2010. She was considered a possible replacement for Barack Obama's Senate seat following his victory in the 2008 presidential election, although Madigan herself described her chances of being appointed as "less than zero." Roland Burris was appointed to the U.S. Senate. During the Blagojevich Senate appointment scandal, Madigan was speculated as "Senate Candidate #2" in the complaint against Blagojevich, although no wrongdoing on her part was implied.
Notably, on December 12, 2008, Madigan attracted national attention after filing a motion with the Supreme Court of Illinois to temporarily remove Blagojevich from office and install Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn as governor. Though the motion was denied by the court without a hearing, Blagojevich was later impeached and convicted and Quinn was sworn in as governor.
She is widely believed to have the ambition to pursue a higher political office, and has been cited by The New York Times to be among the seventeen most likely women to become the first female President of the United States.
On July 14, 2013, Madigan, who was widely expected to run, announced she would not run for governor in 2014 because of her father's decision to stay in his post as speaker of the Illinois House. She ran for reelection as state attorney general and won.
On September 15, 2017, Madigan announced she would not seek reelection in 2018.2005, received the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, presented to "exceptional young Americans under the age of 40 whose contributions in elective office, community service or advocacy demonstrate the impact and value of public service in the spirit of John F. Kennedy."
Madigan was born Lisa Murray. She changed her name when she was 18 and was formally adopted in her 20s by Michael Madigan. Madigan is married to cartoonist Pat Byrnes, and they have two daughters.2014 election for Attorney General
Lisa Madigan (D) (inc.), 60%
Paul Schimpf (R), 38%
Ben Koyl (L), 3%
2010 election for Attorney General
Lisa Madigan (D) (inc.), 65%
Stephen H. Kim (R), 32%
David Black (G), 2%
Bill Malan (L), 2%
2006 election for Attorney General
2002 Democratic primary election for Attorney General
Lisa Madigan, 58%
John Schmidt, 42%
1998 election for State Senator, 17th District
Lisa Madigan (D), 100%
Marc Loveless (W-I), 0%
1998 Democratic primary election for State Senator, 17th District
Lisa Madigan, 66%
Bruce Farley, 31%