« Ind. Gov't. - "Could be 1st state requiring parental notification when unemancipated minors pursue 'judicial bypass' procedure for abortion" | Main | Ind. Gov't. - More on: Attorney General Opinions, and Golf Carts »

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ind. Courts - "Clark County judge applying for Indiana Supreme Court vacancy"

Applications are due March 3rd, but one applicant's name is already public, Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael.

Judge Carmichael, according to this story by Elizabeth DePompei in the Clark County News & Tribune:

... is again applying for a vacancy on the state's highest court. The spot is left open by Justice Robert Rucker, who is retiring after 26 years as an appellate court judge.

Carmichael applied for a vacancy in 2009 and again in 2016 when Justice Brent Dickson retired. Last year, Carmichael made it to a second round of interviews and became one of 15 finalists. She didn't make it to the pool of three finalists, but each time she moves through the process, Carmichael said she learns something new.

"And so this time what I found out — and this always seems a little odd to a judge — is I have a list of who is on the nominating commission, I can contact them directly, speak to them," Carmichael said.

"So that's what I'm going to do."

The nominating commission is composed of six people and chaired by Chief Justice Loretta Rush, according to a news release. Three commission members are elected by their peers and three are appointed by the governor.

The commission will review applications and interview qualified candidates at the Indiana State House in Indianapolis in March and April. Commission members then vote to send the three most qualified candidates to Gov. Eric Holcomb, who has the final say on who fills the vacancy.

Carmichael said she believes the commission chooses candidates based on qualifications. But once the decision the falls to the governor, things can get political. Carmichael was elected to Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 as a Democrat. Holcomb was elected in November as a Republican.

While most prospective judges in Indiana counties run in partisan elections, Carmichael said it's not a partisan kind of job.

"Once you're in office, you don't make your decisions based on politics, because you can't," she said. "Politics doesn't play a part in your decision making when you're looking at the facts, when you're looking at the issues and the witnesses. It doesn't matter what party they're from. The facts are the facts."

If she makes it to the final three, Carmichael expects she'll have the chance to meet Holcomb and make her case for keeping politics out of his decision making. She also noted that Republican governors have previously appointed Democrats, and vice versa.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 24, 2017 08:35 AM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017