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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Ind. Courts - "Who will be Indiana's next chief justice?"

Tim Evans has just posted a long Indianapolis Star story on tomorrow's upcoming selection of a new Chief Justice of the State of Indiana. Some quotes from the story:

History may be made Wednesday when the state's Judicial Nominating Commission names a new chief justice to head the Indiana Supreme Court.

The seven-member panel could tap the first female or the first African-American to head the state's high court and serve as the leader of Indiana's judicial system.

The new chief justice, replacing Brent Dickson, will be selected from the court's four other members: Robert Rucker, Steven David, Mark Massa and Loretta Rush.

Dickson will remain a justice until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75 in July 2016. The 28-year veteran of the state's high court has served as chief justice since 2012, when he was named to replace Randall T. Shepard.

None of the other current justices has publicly stated whether they will seek the post, but legal experts expect at least three, and possibly all four, will ask the commission to consider them during a public interview process Wednesday afternoon.

"It is my understanding that all four will go in and make the case that they are the person for the job," said retired Justice Frank Sullivan, now a professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.

Sullivan declined to speculate on who might land the job but said Hoosiers would be well served by any of the potential candidates.

"I think all four of them would be splendid candidates," said Sullivan, who retired in 2012 after 19 years on the court. "Each, in their own way, has a deep commitment to the rule of law and strong, quick, discerning legal minds."

The commission's final decision, expected to come Wednesday afternoon, could give Indiana its first African-American (Rucker) or first female (Rush) chief justice.

Rucker is the second African-American to serve on the court, and Rush is the second female. Both followed former Justice Myra Selby, who was the first black and the first female on the state's highest court. Appointed by then-Gov. Evan Bayh, Selby served on the court from 1995 to 1999. * * *

Although politics is not supposed to play a role in the selection process, the seven-member commission includes three members appointed by Daniels and Republican Gov. Mike Pence, and Dickson, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Robert Orr. The remaining three members are elected by attorneys across the state.

The story then continues, quoting at length, with credit, from the ILB post earlier today by Prof. Joel Schumm.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 5, 2014 03:19 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts