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Dickson takes oath as chief justice

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Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson formally took the oath of office Monday before more than 300 people in the atrium of the Indiana Statehouse.

Gov. Mitch Daniels administered the oath as Dickson’s wife of 49 years, Jan Aikman Dickson, held the family Bible upon which the new chief in 1986 took the oath when he was appointed as a justice by Gov. Robert Orr. Dickson’s three adult sons and many grandchildren and family members attended.

“He did not seek this position, it was thrust upon him,” Daniels said of Dickson, who was officially appointed chief justice by the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission in June. Daniels said he called Dickson and urged him to serve, adding that during a period of significant change on the court, “there was only one choice.”

Daniels said Dickson had served as a key member of a judicial “dream team” respected nationally for civility and intellectual jurisprudence. Under former Chief Justice Randall Shepard, Dickson and Justices Theodore Boehm, Robert Rucker and Frank Sullivan Jr. served together longer than any supreme court in the state’s history.

Dickson and Rucker are the lone remaining justices from that court. Justice Steven David replaced Boehm; Justice Mark Massa replaced Shepard; and 10 semifinalists will be interviewed this week to replace Sullivan, who retired from the court Aug. 1.

“Now, we hope we’re rebuilding another dream team for the future,” Daniels said.

Dickson noted the “approaching conclusion” of a period of change for the court, noting the court should be back to five members by October.

“Your new Indiana Supreme Court intends to continue in the traditions of the recent past,” he said, as a respected body that serves as a model for courts around the country and continues to be nonpolitical. “We are determined to wage civility at every opportunity.”

Tippecanoe County Bar Association President Patricia Truitt, a longtime friend and colleague of the Dicksons, noted that she believed Dickson to be the first chief justice who attended Purdue University as an undergraduate student – the same institution Daniels will lead when he leaves office.

Truitt was among several friends and colleagues who offered remarks during Dickson’s investiture, over which Rucker presided. Also offering remarks were Boehm, Indiana Judges Association President Judge Robyn Moberly, and Rep. Ralph Foley, R-Martinsville.

 

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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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