Finalists all have IU-Indy law degrees

August 2, 2010
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It’s a good day for Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis. It can boast that the three finalists for the Indiana Supreme Court hold degrees from the school.

Six of the nine semi-finalists earned J.D.s from there. Considering we have four law schools in the state, and countless other law schools around the country, that’s a fact worth bragging about. The school even mentions it on the front page of their website.

That means all but one of the justices will have received their legal education in-state. Whoever is selected will replace Justice Theodore Boehm, who graduated from Harvard Law School. Justice Brent Dickson graduated from IU-Indy, Justice Rucker is a graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law, and Justice Frank Sullivan received his J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.

That leaves only Chief Justice Randall Shepard as having an out-of-state law degree. He graduated from Yale Law School.

Taking a quick look around at neighboring Supreme Courts, only Ohio has more in-state graduates. Based on their bios, all seven Ohio justices were educated there. Illinois and Michigan each have two out of their seven justices with out-of-state law degrees.

Interesting fact about the seven Wisconsin justices: their chief justice earned her J.D. from Indiana University and one justice has his from the University of Notre Dame law school. Another justice there has an undergraduate degree from DePauw University. That’s quite an Indiana connection on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court.
 

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  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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