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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ind. Courts - The Indiana Appellate Jurists Facing Their First Retention Vote in November

In this upcoming general election, no current Supreme justice or Appellate Court judge will be up for a 10-year retention vote. But four jurists will be on the ballot for their first confirmation by the voters. The Indiana Constitution provides in part at Art. 7, Sec. 11:

Section 11. Tenure of Justices of Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Appeals.

A justice of the Supreme Court or Judge of the Court of Appeals shall serve until the next general election following the expiration of two years from the date of appointment, and subject to approval or rejection by the electorate, shall continue to serve for terms of ten years, so long as he retains his office.

The word "appointment" is also used in the preceding section of Article 7:
Section 10. Selection of Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Appeals.

A vacancy in a judicial office in the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals shall be filled by the Governor, without regard to political affiliation, from a list of three nominees presented to him by the judicial nominating commission. If the Governor shall fail to make an appointment from the list within sixty days from the day it is presented to him, the appointment shall be made by the Chief Justice or the acting Chief Justice from the same list.

Those jurists eligible to seek retention on November 8, 2014, the date of the biennial statewide general election, are Judge Martha Wentworth, Tax Court; Judge Rudolph Pyle, Court of Appeals; and Justices Mark Massa and Loretta Rush, Supreme Court.

Here is a table showing their dates of appointment by the Governor, the date each took the oath of office, and the period each will have served on election day.*

Indiana Appellate Jurists Facing First Retention Vote
Judge or Justice Appointed by Governor Date of oath Days served before retention vote
Wentworth 12/22/10 1/17/11 1,417
Massa 3/23/12 4/2/12 960
Pyle 8/7/12 8/27/12 823
Rush 9/14/12 11/7/12 785

Under IC 33-25-2-2, relating to appeals court judges:

A judge who wishes to be retained in office shall file a statement with the secretary of state, not later than noon July 15 of the year in which the question of retention of the judge is to be placed on the general election ballot, indicating that the judge wishes to have the question of the judge's retention placed on the ballot.
* Note that this "days served" column was calculated based on the date the jurist was appointed, not the date the jurist took the oath of office.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 20, 2014 10:20 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts