1 million ‘yes’ votes

November 12, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court announced today that more than one million people voted to retain the three justices up for retention this year. That’s the first time that many people have voted “yes” to keep a justice in office.

I wonder how many of the people who voted – either yes or no – knew anything about the judges and justices they were retaining.

This year, the courts’ created a retention Web site with information about the judges and justices for voters, and more than 6,000 people visited the site. (The retention site included a link to our retention site, with links to past stories about retention issues.)

I think it’s great the courts created a Web site to educate voters about the people up for retention, but I have to wonder how many of those 6,000 people that visited the site weren’t attorneys or those already familiar with the court system in our state.

I grew up in a county that didn’t retain its trial judges, so if it wasn’t for my job with Indiana Lawyer, I wouldn’t be familiar with the process to keep appellate judges on the bench. I also wouldn’t have had a clue who any of the appellate judges were. I imagine it’s that way for a lot of people who don’t interact with the courts system, no matter what county they live in.

When the next election rolls around in which judges or justices are up for retention, it would be a good idea for the courts to publicize the site even more, both within the legal community and to the general public. Not everyone visits the state’s Web site frequently, or makes an effort to check out the judicial section of the site, so many people may have missed the resource.

The more people who can learn about the judges up for retention the better because these are the men and women who make important legal decisions that may affect our everyday lives.
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  • They know NOTHING and it is sad that they even think they have a vote.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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