Rush takes oath as chief justice

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Choosing an intimate but profound setting in the Indiana Supreme Court Law Library to take the oath Monday as the state’s first female chief justice, Loretta Rush said the history in the tomes spoke volumes to her.

“I consider it to be a jewel of our Indiana Statehouse,” Rush said. “I love these law books,” representative of more than two centuries of the rule of law in the state.

Rush noted that when she told Chief Justice Brent Dickson that she’d like her swearing in to be “small, soon and in the law library, he said ‘fine.’” She also suggested the speed at which the event was arranged was a good sign for government efficiency.

The Judicial Nominating Commission on Aug. 6 selected Rush to be the next chief justice, succeeding Dickson, who will remain on the court as a justice until he faces mandatory retirement in July 2016.   

Alongside her husband, Jim, and youngest son, Luke, Rush took the oath administered by Gov. Mike Pence. Saying it was proper to note the historic occasion, Pence also referred to her selection by the Judicial Nominating Commission, whose members said she was “quite simply, the best choice to lead the best state Supreme Court as its chief justice.”

Rush expressed gratitude to Dickson and longtime Justice Robert Rucker and also vowed to continue the collegial and collaborative atmosphere with justices Steven David and Mark Massa.

“I look forward to many, many, many more years together,” Rush said to her colleagues.

The swearing-in ceremony lasted only about 45 minutes, including remarks from Dickson, Pence and Rush. Current and former justices along with judges of the Court of Appeals and Tax Court, Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and other dignitaries attended.

“I haven’t been this nervous in a law library since my first year at law school across the street,” Pence quipped in marking a “new and historic chapter in Indiana’s highest court.”

Pence also saluted Dickson, who he said had been a mentor and friend to him for years before he was elected governor. Pence called Dickson’s tenure as chief short but substantive, and said it was marked by a commitment to the “longstanding tradition of excellence for this court.”

Dickson said, “I am really looking forward to having Chief Justice Rush at our helm,” saying she is “remarkably well-equipped to serve.”

He also noted Rush’s background – growing up in Lake County and Richmond before attending undergrad at Purdue University and graduating from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, after which she served in private practice and on the bench in Tippecanoe County.

“Loretta Rush is Hoosier, through and through,” Dickson said. He said she’s also an innovator – “She can be a dynamo in leadership.”

Rush singled out a part of the Indiana Constitution highlighted in the law library – Article 1, Section 12 – that she said was inspiring to her. She read it aloud:

“All courts shall be open; and every person, for injury done to him in his person, property, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law. Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial; speedily, and without delay.”

Rush said her time to date on the court has been nothing less than inspiring.

“I guess there’s only one thing left to be said,” she concluded. “Let’s get back to work.”



  • A prayer for the inaugeration of a great lady justice
    Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

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  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.