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. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.