Talk of reform and recusal

November 5, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins:

Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard took some time Wednesday following Election Day to talk with about 60 people about local government reform. He spoke at the North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis about his work last year on the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform, which issued a report calling for sweeping statewide changes in how the system is setup. The chief justice pointed out that our Hoosier state has 2 percent of the nation’s population, but accounts for 8 percent of its governance and that most people don’t know all their local officials. One point he discussed was about public safety, particularly how a mixture of full-time and volunteer fire departments throughout the state duplicate services and aren’t the most efficient or cost-effective option for residents. “This is not a commentary on the people, but on the structure of the system in which they belabor,” he said.

Interestingly, that issue of local government reform that he spoke about is one that is currently before the Indiana Supreme Court, at least in the form of a transfer petition. A Nashville attorney challenging a countywide fire protection district that his clients say was created illegally wants the high court to take the case, and is asking the state’s top jurist to recuse himself from it because of his involvement with local government reform efforts. That case is Ronald Sanders, et al. v. Board of Commissioners of Brown County, et. al, No. 07A01-0803-CV-00104 and follows a September ruling from the Court of Appeals allowing for the district’s creation under the Home Rule Act.

But now, given the chief justice’s advocating for this type of consolidation where necessary, it begs the question of whether the chief justice should recuse himself from this case and any similar ones that could come before the court in the future. While he’s likely able to distinguish between both roles, questions of public perception can sometimes be just as weighty as the administration of justice itself. No decision has been made yet on the transfer request or the recusal question, according to the appellate clerk’s docket.
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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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