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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. Too many attorneys take their position as a license to intimidate and threaten non attorneys in person and by mail. Did find it ironic that a reader moved to comment twice on this article could not complete a paragraph without resorting to insulting name calling (rethuglican) as a substitute for reasoned discussion. Some people will never get the point this action should have made.

  2. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  3. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  4. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  5. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

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