Sunday, August 24, 2014
Ind. Courts - "Smaller serves Chief Justice Rush well"
Dave Bangert writes this weekend in his Lafayette Journal Courier column:
Making history affords a person the right for some ceremony, some pageantry.
That should apply, too, for Loretta Rush, sworn in last week as chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, right?
“Oh, come on, please,” Rush said late last week.
It spoke volumes that Rush, only the second woman on the state Supreme Court, took a pass at a bigger ceremony when she was sworn in as the first female chief justice, opting for a more intimate setting in the court’s library. And that she ended her formal remarks with this: “Let’s get back to work.” And that she then did, as if the ceremony was more of a calendar item than a historic moment.
Not that it would have surprised anyone who saw, up close, how she ran juvenile court on the fourth floor of the Tippecanoe County Courthouse for 14 years.
“When I was sworn in two years ago, there were all these hundreds of people who came and filled the chambers,” Rush said. “That was wonderful, but I just had that a year ago in December.”
This time would be different for Rush, who found out she got the chief justice position on Aug. 6 while cranking “Under Pressure” by David Bowie and Queen. (“That song came on the speaker I have down here, so I turned it up,” Rush said. “All of a sudden I heard ‘Hail to the Chief’ from my off-chambers, and my staff came in and said I got it.”)
“I thought it was important that the court reconvene right away,” Rush said. “If you go and look on the docket, the first case set for us with me as chief justice is (the constitutionality of Indiana’s) right-to-work (law). So there you go. I thought a small, quiet ceremony soon — that was important.”
As for all of the pioneer talk?
“When media asks me questions, the first one always is about being the first woman,” Rush said. “But going back to the ceremony, and why it was important to me, the institution is about so much more than the individual people. If you focus on that, if you focus on an individual, if you focus on, ‘Oh, the gal got it,’ it takes away from the fact that you have to trust your Supreme Court.
“I meant it. Let’s get back to work.”
Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 24, 2014 12:56 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts