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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Vacancy On Supreme Court 2017 - Round 2: Report On Interview #7, Hon. Peter R. Foley

This is Prof. Joel Schumm's report on the 7th interview of Round 2

Hon. Peter R. Foley, Morgan Superior Court 1 (photo) (application) (first interview)

In response to an opening question about judicial selection for the appellate bench and what he would tell the legislature at a Committee, Judge Foley commented on the hard work of the JNC and the quality and scrutiny of the applicants. The process does not need fixing.

When asked about pros and cons of an elected appellate judiciary, Judge Foley noted the difficulty of running for election and worries about the politicization of the process.

In response to a question from Mr. Young about the “tremendous sense of humanity” of Justice Rucker , Judge Foley pointed to his background, representing “real people” and being on the trial bench. He appreciates the impact of rulings on everyday Hoosiers. From a small community, he has been active in his church and in Habitat for Humanity, which exposes him to a variety of people.

In response to a question from Mr. Berger about an “inspirational” justice, Judge Foley said he draws inspiration from many: remarking on the civility of Justice Dickson, the personal story of Justice Thomas, and the character and approach of Justice Rucker.

In response to a question from Mr. Yakym about the Court responding to changes in society, Judge Foley commented that the judicial branch is the slowest to change. The executive is the quickest to respond, and the legislature is next. It should be this way.

In response to a question from Mr. Feighner about the legacy he hopes to leave, Judge Foley said legacy is up to others to decide. His goal would be to issue clear, concise opinions. The Court must provide leadership for trial courts and the state’s 18,000 attorneys.

In response to a question from Ms. Kitchell about being “pushed outside his comfort zone,” Judge Foley said it happens frequently in law, commenting on his first jury trial.

In response to a question about his commitment to judicial restraint, Judge Foley said he would be slow to respond to societal shifts because the Court must follow the rule of law. Let the legislature write the statutes; the Court should interpret them.

In response to a question about promoting diversity, Judge Foley said it was important to give people an opportunity they might not otherwise have. He said diversity extends beyond race and gender to a broad spectrum of things.

In response to a question from Chief Justice Rush about Criminal Rule 26, Judge Foley said the issue has been discussed at judges’ meetings and he is open to it. In response to a follow-up question about people in the county jail who cannot afford bail, Judge Foley said he did not know a specific percentage and emphasized the importance of using other sorts of programming and monitoring (like home detention).

In response to a question from Mr. Berger about the potential of an all-white bench at an oral argument at a high school in Gary, Judge Foley said his approach would be same at any high school in Indiana where folks feel disaffected and emphasized how he would convey himself.

In response to a question about increasing the size of the Court, Judge Foley said he is not an advocate of change for the sake of change. He does not believe it is something that is broken and needs fixed.

Mr. Feighner followed up about the implementation of Criminal Rule 26 by local officials, Judge Foley said his approach would be to provide leadership and the county is beginning the process of initial discussions, looking at the results from pilot counties. In response to a follow up, Judge Kincaid said the judges reach decisions collectively with input from others.

In response to a question about a career path other than law, Judge Foley said he enjoys history and has an interest in teaching and has always been interested in public service.

In response to a question about his preparation for the interview, Judge Foley said he has reached out to some folks who have been through the process and mock interview type questions. He has tried to study up on significant Indiana Supreme Court opinions and learn more about the administrative role of the Court.

In response to a question about significant decisions, Judge Foley discussed the recent ESPN case and noted his experience with public record requests from his practice as a county attorney. He also discussed the forfeiture of appeal from the 2014 Adoption of O.R. case.

In response to a question about experience as a judge, Judge Foley said one is not prepared for it until you do it, and sometimes it will be brought home with you.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 19, 2017 09:39 AM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017