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Friday, August 03, 2012

Ind. Courts - Nominations open for the 1st District attorney member of the Judicial Nominating Commission

Yesterday all members of the Indiana bar in the 1st Judicial District in good standing, received this "Notice of Election" from the Clerk of the Indiana Courts.

Essentially it says that nominations are now open for the attorney member who will represent the 1st District on the Commission for the next three years. This is the seat currently held by James O. McDonald of Terre Haute. Nominations, including a petition signed by 30 attorneys who reside in the 1st Judicial District, are due by Sept. 20, 2012.

Ballots and biographies of each candidate will be mailed to all First District attorneys on October 26, 2012. Ballots are due by 4:00 p.m. on November 16, 2012. The Clerk of the Supreme Court will count the ballots at 10:00 a.m. on November 16, 2012.

[Notice that the letter contains at least two errors in the list of counties in the 1st District. It is called the "3rd District" and also misspells "Putnam."]

The elections for the three districts are staggered, terms are three years, and an attorney may not serve successive terms.

Readers of the ILB have seen the important role the commissioners play in the selection of our Supreme and Appellate Court justices and judges.

The three names the Commission decides on and sends to the Governor are THE three names -- unlike in some other states, our Governor may not reject the panel and call for a new one. In Indiana, if the Governor does not make a selection within 60 days, the Chief Justice must pick the nominee, from the same three names. (Ind. Const. Art. 7, sec.10)

In addition, it is the Commission that, every five years (or when there is a vacancy), selects the Chief Justice from the members of the Supreme Court. (Ind. Const. Art. 7, sec.3)

The Judicial Nominating Commission also is the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which investigates and prosecutes disciplinary complaints against judges. Except perhaps for this year, with its numerous appellate vacancies, this is what the Commission has spent the bulk of its time on.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 3, 2012 11:38 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts