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Rush named next chief justice, first female to lead the court

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Loretta Rush was selected the next chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday by the seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission, which deliberated about an hour before naming her the first female chief justice in the state’s history.

“I appreciate the vote of confidence the JNC has given me,” Rush said after her unanimous selection. On being the first woman chief, she said, “I look forward to the day it’s unremarkable.”

Rush will succeed outgoing Chief Justice Brent Dickson, who announced earlier this year he will step down from the leadership position by Sept. 1, but will remain on the court. Dickson, who as chief justice also chairs the JNC, must retire from the court when he turns 75 in July 2016.

Dickson repeated the comment of commission member Tom Rose who said the seven-member panel had “an embarrassment of riches” in selecting a chief-designee from among Rush and Justices Steven David, Mark Massa and Robert Rucker.

After the commission interviewed the four justices, members adjourned to executive session, where Dickson said he didn’t have to make his preference known before Rush was selected. “I had colleagues that made that decision for me,” he said.

Nevertheless, Dickson said it was a close choice. Commission members, he said, “left today feeling extremely fulfilled. … The court is going to be very well-led by Chief Justice Rush.”

Former Justice Frank Sullivan, whom Rush succeeded on the court, said she has a deep appreciation for the chief justice’s many responsibilities. “Chief Justice Rush will embrace those responsibilities with skill, energy, enthusiasm, and a real sense of mission,” Sullivan said in a statement.

Rush said tomorrow will be like any other day – she’ll show up for work around 9 a.m., though she’ll soon have to get used to sitting in a different chair.

She said she’ll look forward to learning from Dickson and Rucker, the two senior-most justices, before pronouncing her vision for the court. She said she’ll also look to what she called a strong group of judicial leaders around the state to help.

“A strategic plan will be developed,” she said, “with a lot of input. But it will take time.”

Governor Mike Pence was among state leaders who endorsed the JNC’s selection.

“I offer my sincerest congratulations to Justice Loretta Rush on being unanimously selected to be the new Chief Justice of Indiana. With this selection, the Judicial Nominating Commission has made history and ensured that Indiana's Supreme Court will continue to have outstanding leadership in the years ahead. With her extensive legal experience, proven character and commitment to public service, I am confident that Chief Justice Rush will serve our judiciary and our state with distinction," Pence said in a statement.

Read more about the selection in the Aug. 13 print edition of Indiana Lawyer.

 
 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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