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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Ind. Courts - "Rush to be 1st woman to lead Indiana Supreme Court"

Tom LoBianco has this story this evening for the AP. Some quotes:

Gov. Mike Pence praised Rush's appointment in a statement late Wednesday afternoon, noting that the nominating commission "has made history and ensured that Indiana's Supreme Court will continue to have outstanding leadership in the years ahead."

Indiana justices are appointed to five-year terms before facing a retention vote.

Rush's appointment also drew praise from legal experts, who noted that though she is the court's newest member, she has proven herself by writing opinions in a series of contentious cases. Those include one involving the free speech rights of an Indiana blogger and another involving an Evansville smoking ban.

"She [has] written unanimous opinions for the court in some of the most important and complicated cases," said Joel Schumm, a professor at Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law and an expert on Indiana's courts. * * *

During public interviews before her selection, Rush fielded questions about her judicial philosophy, her view of the role of chief justice and how she would balance her home life and the responsibilities of the job.

She likened her philosophy to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, because of his narrow reading of the Constitution and the founders' intentions, and said a chief justice must be a role model and build consensus.

After Rush talked about letting her 12-year-old son throw out the first pitch at a recent Gary Railcats game, commission member John Ulmer asked how she would juggle her work and home lives. Rush said it's important to be a good time manager and noted that she has adult children and is experienced at multitasking.

Ulmer said he didn't plan to ask Rush about work-family balance until Rush mentioned her son. That had him thinking about how his family coped when he was a state lawmaker, he said.

"My wife had to raise our children while I worked all day and night, sometimes five nights a week, and I saw how it affected my children," Ulmer said.

Ulmer said he did not ask the three male candidates that question because he knew they didn't have young children.

Rush worked in private practice in Lafayette before serving 14 years on the Tippecanoe Superior Court. She was appointed the state's 108th Supreme Court justice by former Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2012. She is the first woman to serve on the state Supreme Court since Myra Selby stepped down in 1999 after five years on the bench.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 6, 2014 07:17 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts