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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Vacancy On Supreme Court 2017 - Day 1: Report On Interview #6, Mr. Peter J. Rusthoven

This is Prof. Joel Schumm's report on the 6th interview of Day 1

Mr. Peter J. Rusthoven, Indianapolis (photo) (application)

Chief Justice Rush opened with a question about the final line of the oath of attorneys, asking for an example of Mr. Rusthoven advancing the cause of the defenseless. He noted an ongoing case with many complexities but was not able to delve into a lot of details because it was pending.

In response to a question about recent books he has read, Mr. Rusthoven recited a couple of children’s books (he has young children) as well as biographies of Earl Warren and others.

In response to a question from Mr. Yakym about considering legislative committee testimony in determining legislative intent (used in federal courts but not Indiana), Mr. Rusthoven said he is skeptical of legislative history. The words have objective meaning and should control. In cases where uncertainty exists, other information may be helpful but committee testimony is often interest group driven.

In response to question from Mr. Feighner about opposing counsel listed on the application, Mr. Rusthoven discussed a case in which he was involved with now-Justice Slaughter.

In response to a question from Ms. Kitchell about areas he could bring to the table different from the remaining four justices, Mr. Rusthoven discussed his corporate, regulatory, and legislative work. He also noted he had gone to school out of state where he was surrounded by talented people from around the country and world, which adds perspective. He also discussed his experience in Washington, with the press, and finally his experience working with Democrats, noting letters he had received from some.

In response to Ms. Long’s question, he would ask the founding fathers if they would ever, in their wildest dreams, imagined it would have turned out as it did. He discussed the competing visions of Jefferson and Hamilton as well as American exceptionalism.

In response to a question from Mr. Young about Justice Sullivan’s eulogy of Justice DeBruler—that Hoosiers enjoy greater rights than others—Mr. Rusthoven noted that Justice DeBruler was appointed at a young age and was often in dissent but always respectful. Many of Justice DeBruler’s views have since become majority ones. Mr. Rusthoven does not believe the Indiana Constitution should be interpreted lockstep with different federal language. The founders believed it was important to protect individual liberty from government.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 21, 2017 12:25 PM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017