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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Vacancy On Supreme Court 2017 - Day 18: Report On Interview #18, Ms. Leanna K. Weissmann

This is Prof. Joel Schumm's report on the 18th interview of Day 2

Ms. Leanna K. Weissmann, Lawrenceburg (photo) (application)

Chief Justice Rush began by noting the Ms. Weissmann is “quite a powerhouse,” and Ms. Weissmann responded that she had done sixteen oral arguments.

In response to a question about the application of Article 1, Ms. Weissmann said one would need to ensure the person was in the country legally.

In response to the question about Justice Sullivan’s eulogy of Justice DeBruler, Ms. Weissmann discussed the greater protections of the Indiana Constitution, such as Article 1, Section 11 and trash searches. She noted Justice Sullivan was one of her favorite justices before whom she always enjoyed arguing.

Ms. Weissmann said her judicial philosophy was cemented through her work with Justice Rucker. She discussed researching a case that required going back to the 1600s. She would ensure that every case is treated equally; everyone has the equal right to have every judge look at their case in the same way.

When asked about filling Justice Rucker’s seat, Ms. Weissmann explained the Court works well because five different people bring different perspectives. She has spent her career largely as a public defender, giving a voice to the voiceless.

In the past year, Ms. Weissmann noted the lengthy, non-typical application and said she has immersed herself in the study of Indiana law and history as well as doing more civil work.

In response to a question about interpreting the Constitution, Ms. Weissmann said the language and intent are important but that it is not “either or” because the Constitution can build and grow in the future.

In response to question about where she would have been in 1896 in Plessey v. Ferguson, Ms. Weissmann said she did not know, although she hoped she would have been a vocal advocate against anything contrary to basic human rights.

In response to a question about her work as a solo practitioner, Ms. Weissmann said she had staff that work remotely. As a justice, Ms. Weissmann said she is a consensus-builder, noting her work on the Disciplinary Commission. When noting she had visited many jails and asked if judges should, Ms. Weissmann said it’s a “reality check” and they should.

In response to a question from Mr. Young about an important opinion from Justice Rucker, Ms. Weissmann identified the Holden opinion on jury nullification, which stands out as well-written and deep.

When asked about anything beyond her application, Ms. Weissmann discussed her teaching at Ivy Tech, which involves many students who will become police officers. She recently heard from one of her students who was accepted to law school and said she was the reason he wanted to be an attorney.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 22, 2017 11:53 AM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017