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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Ind. Courts - "Lake Co. judicial interviews postponed" [Updated]

Per a brief story in the Gary Post-Tribune:

The Lake County Judicial Nominating Commission has postponed interviews that were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday with candidates for judge in the civil division of Lake County Superior Court.

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker, in a notice dated Tuesday, said it has come to his attention that some of the four non-attorney members of the commission were not appointed according to state law.

No new date has been set for the interviews, but Rucker’s notice indicated that he anticipated that the matter would be resolved soon.

There’s a judicial vacancy because of the death of Gerald Svetanoff.

[Updated at 10:13 AM] Bill Dolan of the NWI Times reports in a story headed Gender issue delays judicial selection":
CROWN POINT | An Indiana Supreme Court justice halted selection of a new Lake County judge this week over criticism that local officials named too many women to the selection committee.

Justice Robert D. Rucker on Tuesday postponed what was to be two days of interviews this week of 21 lawyers who would like to be the next Lake Superior Court Civil Division judge. * * *

State law created a nine-member Lake County Judicial Nominating Commission to select three judicial finalists. Lake County attorneys elected four of their members to the commission. The Lake County Board of Commissioners named three women and one man as the commission's non-attorney members.

Rucker, who the Indiana Supreme Court chose as the commission's chairman, said Tuesday the non-attorney membership is out of line with a confusing state-mandated quota of males, females, minorities and party affiliations. However, he didn't specify what change has to be made to comply with state law.

Joe Hero, a St. John lawyer who has been critical of the judicial nominating process, said he believes state law requires one of the female Democrats to be replaced by a Republican male.

So, the 21 applicants must put their dreams on hold until local officials solve the puzzle of how to configure the panel to choose the three finalists.

Hero said he has told the Lake County Board of Commissioners they made the faulty appointment and need to solve the problem, but they have refused to act. Hero lauded Rucker's postponement.

"He is cleaning up the mess," Hero said.

ILB: The Lake County judicial nominating commission law starts at IC 33-33-45-27. Sec. 28 deals with membership.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 7, 2014 10:06 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts