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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Vacancy On Supreme Court 2017 - Day 1: Report On Interview #9, Hon. Steven L. Hostetler

This is Prof. Joel Schumm's report on the 9th interview of Day 1

Hon. Steven L. Hostetler, St. Joseph Superior Court (photo) (application)

Chief Justice Rush began with the final sentence of the oath of attorneys, asking for a recent example of advancing the cause of the defenseless. Judge Hostetler said he did a recent presentation to the bar association about the importance of Lincoln as a role model. He has encouraged pro bono work. He posts notices of needs around the courthouse and calls lawyers personally to thank them for their service.

In response to a question from Ms. Kitchell about shaping his ethical views, Judge Hostetler again pointed to Lincoln, noting how similar Lincoln’s law practice was to some practices today, noting he had used examples from Lincoln’s practice in his recent presentation.

He would ask the founding fathers how best to heal the divisions in our country, noting they were required to heal tremendous divisions in forming the United States.

In response to a question about traits of Justice Rucker that he would emulate, Judge Hostetler recounted that he had received two calls from Justice Rucker about appointments as a special judge, noting his courtesy and respect.

In response to Mr. Berger’s question about diversity, Judge Hostetler said it weighed in his decision whether to apply. He believes in diversity and said there are multiple ways to encourage diversity on the bench. He said he would strive to do his best.

In response to a question from Mr. Yakym, Judge Hostetler believes the Indiana Constitution guarantees rights, discussing specifically the independent vitality in the double jeopardy and search and seizure realms. In response to a follow-up question, Judge Hostetler said it’s not an “either or” between the state and federal constitution, emphasizing our citizens are entitled to both protections.

In response to a question about class actions, Judge Hostetler noted that sometimes such suits provide little benefit to individuals but may lead to important changes in behavior.

In response to a question about dissenting opinions, Judge Hostetler said the audience would be members of the Court. He noted the dissent in Plessey v. Ferguson in 1896, which was ahead of its time. He also mentioned dissents in cases that failed to provide political speech. He said dissenting opinions can be important, and he would respectfully dissent when appropriate.

When asked if his oath as an attorney or judge ever came into conflict with his personal feelings, he said he has not experienced it. He said the law is generally helpful in making decisions, noting the statutory factors for child custody, which lead him to the correct result.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 21, 2017 02:43 PM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017