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Friday, May 03, 2013

Courts - Their compensation shall not be "diminished during their continuance in office"

Article 7, Section 19 of the Indiana Constitution:

Pay. The Justices of Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Appeals and of the Circuit Courts shall at stated times receive a compensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
The ILB referenced that section Jan. 9, 2013, with respect to a bill offered this past session, which "would limit the salary of state and local public officers and employees, including the judiciary, to the salary paid to the governor," observing that it would not impact current justices and judges.

In this Nov. 19, 2005 post, the ILB compared Indiana's provision with a similar, but somewhat different provision from Pennsylvania's constitution.

This Dec. 4, 2007 ILB post describes the only decision the ILB has knowledge of construing Indiana's Art. 7, Sec. 19. It is a trial court ruling. (The trial court does quote a sentence out of Board of Tr. of Pub. Emp. Ret. F. v. Hill, 472 NE 2d 204 - Ind. Supreme Court 1985 which reads "The purpose of this provision is to preserve the independence of the working judiciary" and the provision is also referenced in TIPTON COUNTY v. State ex rel. Nash, 731 NE 2d 12 - Ind: Court of Appeals 2000.)

The State Bar of Michigan blog in a post on Monday quoted a story out of Iowa re a proposed amendment:

Their amendment to House File 120, the judicial branch budget bill, would lower the salaries of the four justices on the seven-member court who were part of the unanimous Varnum v. Brein [marriage equality] decision to $25,000 – the same as a state legislator.

It’s not meant to be punitive, Alons and Shaw said Tuesday.

“We’re just holding them responsible for their decision, for going beyond their bounds,” Shaw said.

“It’s not the merits of what they said in that decision,” added Alons. He’s trying to stop “an encroaching wave” of judicial activity including decisions on nude dancing and landowner liability – decisions the Legislature also is trying to correct through legislation this session.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 3, 2013 01:41 PM
Posted to Courts in general