Governor chooses Judge Steven David as next Supreme Court justice

Michael W. Hoskins
September 17, 2010
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Boone Circuit Judge Steven David will become the next Indiana Supreme Court justice, meaning the state’s highest court will remain without a woman.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels made the announcement at 10:30 a.m., choosing Judge David from three finalists that also included Marion Superior Judge Robyn Moberly and Karl Mulvaney, a partner at Bingham McHale in Indianapolis. Judge David succeeds Justice Theodore Boehm, who is retiring Sept. 30.

Boone Circuit Judge Steven David will become the next Indiana Supreme Court justice.

Gov. Mitch Daniels made the announcement this morning (see video below), choosing Judge David to succeed retiring Justice Theodore R. Boehm who leaves the state’s highest court Sept. 30. The governor made the decision on Tuesday, selecting the longtime trial judge over Marion Superior Judge Robyn Moberly and Bingham McHale attorney Karl Mulvaney.

In making his selection, the governor said Judge David stood out for his distinguished 15 years on the trial bench, his past experience in business, and his longtime military legal career. The judge offered the clearest expression of commitment to proper restraint on the bench and respect for judicial decision-making boundaries.

“He will be a judge who interprets, rather than invents our laws,” Daniels said.

The governor said he would have “liked nothing more” than to name a woman to the court, taking Indiana off the list of being one of two nationally without a female justice. Diversity might have been used as a “tie-breaker,” but this wasn’t a tie, he said.

“My task was to find the best person on the merits, and I’m sure I did,” Daniels said. “Now the state is going to benefit from that for years to come.”

With this appointment, Judge David shifts the balance of the Supreme Court to three former judges – Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard served on the Vanderburgh Superior bench and Justice Robert Rucker served at the Indiana Court of Appeals. Justices Frank Sullivan, Brent Dickson, and the retiring Boehm came all came from the private sector.

A 1982 graduate of Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, Judge David began on the Boone Circuit bench in 1995. He began his career in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps until the mid-1980s, when he began practicing in Columbus at law firm Cline King King & David before serving as corporate counsel for Mayflower Transit in Carmel.

Standing with his wife Cathryn –- who works at the Indiana State Bar Association –- this morning in the governor’s office, Judge David said this is a continuation of a lifetime priority of public service.

“This is a way for me to serve in a different way,” he said. “The lesson learned is it’s OK to dream. Hard work can pay off.”

This story will be updated in today’s Indiana Lawyer Daily.



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.