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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Vacancy On Supreme Court 2017 - Day 2: Report On Interview #16, Hon. Vicki L. Carmichael

This is Prof. Joel Schumm's report on the 16th interview of Day 2

Hon. Vicki L. Carmichael, Clark Circuit Court 4 (photo) (application)

In response to a question from Chief Justice Rush about why only twenty people out of thousands would apply for this vacancy, Judge Carmichael said she was surprised. She had no suggestions for changing the process, which she said was very open , that she had an opportunity to meet with the Commissioners, and the application was easy to complete.

In response to a question from Mr. Feighner about the experience she would bring to the bench, Judge Carmichael noted her experience as a mediator and as a public defender and in private practice doing criminal defense work. She said people from different parts of the state approach issues differently, and in Southern Indiana there hasn’t been a civil jury trial in a few years. People are more likely to settle cases, which she said is not a bad thing.

In response to a question about interpreting statutes, Judge Carmichael emphasized the importance of the plain meaning of the words, citing two recent Indiana Supreme Court opinions.

In response to a question from Mr. Berger, Judge Carmichael responded that Article 1 applies both to citizens and non-citizens while in the state.

Judge Carmichael discussed the importance of giving people their day in court, approaching cases with compassion, and noted the way Justice Rucker has shown a genuine care for the people of Indiana.

Judge Carmichael said she teaches her students at Ivy Tech that the law isn’t black or white; it’s gray.

In response to a question about an opinion that has shaped her legal philosophy, Judge Carmichael said she cited the Justice Scalia’s Second Amendment opinion in Heller, which relies not just on text but also precedent and the views of legal scholars.

In response to a question from Mr. Berger about the importance diversity, Judge Carmichael said diversity extends beyond race and ethnicity, noting her practice and judicial experience in criminal, family law, and other areas of law. (Mr. Berger’s noted the desire to be “more politically correct” in the wording of his question.)

In response to a question about a rule that needs to be changed, Judge Carmichael mentioned Criminal Rule 26. She said the rule was correct but it imposes a financial burden on counties to have the risk assessments done. The county attorney told Judge Carmichael he believed the rule was only a suggestion. Although she agrees with the rule, she is concerned about the funding.

In response to a question about demeanor, Judge Carmichael noted her fairness and even-tempered nature. She noted that a prosecutor recently told her she would sentence someone to sixty years, who left with a smile on their face.

She noted, having watched parts of the Gorsuch hearing yesterday, that judges are not “Republicans or Democrats.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 22, 2017 11:40 AM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017