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Day 2 of interviews for justice spot

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By the end of the day, the seven-member Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission will decide who to bring back for a second round of interviews for the state’s next Supreme Court justice.

Interviews continued today for the remaining 15 applicants for the high court to replace retiring Justice Theodore Boehm. Nineteen of the 34 applicants went before the commission Tuesday.

Questions mirrored those asked during the first day, focusing on experience, views on collegiality, judicial philosophy, and what leadership roles the court’s justices should be taking.

In telling members why he’d want to move from Indiana Solicitor General to Supreme Court justice, Thomas Fisher said that he wanted to be a judge since clerking at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals early in his career, and this is the next logical step to be able to think intellectually about the law.

“It comes out of the realization that this won’t last forever, no matter how much I love it,” he said. “The possibility of being a justice on our Supreme Court thrills me to no end.”

Responding to a concern about his lack of trial experience, Fisher told members that his experience understanding the overall court process, including trial level and jury issues, is beneficial.

Marion Superior judges Cynthia Ayers and Robyn Moberly, and Johnson Superior Judge Cynthia Emkes discussed their experience handling nearly every type of case while on the trial-court bench.

Judge Emkes talked specifically about the growth of her county and its impact on the courts while also mentioning her experience in handling the high profile death-penalty case of Michael Dean Overstreet.

Lake Superior Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura discussed her handling of juvenile and family court issues and said that experience could help “breathe new life” into the high court.

Also interviewing today are Boone Circuit Judge Steven H. David; Granger attorney Lyle R. Hardman of Hunt Suedhoff Kalamaros; Hamilton Superior Judge William J. Hughes; Howard Superior Judge William C. Menges Jr.; Indianapolis attorney Karl L. Mulvaney of Bingham McHale;, Valparaiso University School of Law distinguished practitioner-in-residence Clare Kraegel Neuchterlein; Indianapolis attorney Curtis E. Shirely; Steubern Circuit Judge Allen N. Wheat; Henry Circuit Judge Mary G. Willis; and Abigail Lawlis Kuzma, chief counsel of consumer protection in the Attorney General’s Office.

The commission goes into executive session at 4 p.m. to discuss the applicants and then will hold a public vote on who will become semi-finalists. Those people return for second interviews July 30 before the three finalists’ names are forwarded to the governor for final consideration and appointment.
 

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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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