Pressure on the governor

August 9, 2010
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The governor has three strong candidates from which to pick our next Supreme Court justice. But does Marion Superior Judge Robyn Moberly have an edge because she’s a woman?

Chief Justice Randall Shepard has said in the past that he is confident that the next justice here would be a woman. He said this after Justice Robert Rucker was appointed in 1999, the last time we’ve had a new justice.

One could argue that if the commission members really wanted to make sure a woman named to the court, they would have given the governor three female finalists, but perhaps that would have been too obvious.

The commission’s task is to pick the best three candidates for the job, and commissioners felt that those were two men and one woman. But with all the talk and hope for a woman to sit on the state’s highest bench, is the governor going to feel pressure to go with Judge Moberly, even if she isn’t the best candidate in his eyes? Does her gender make her a more attractive candidate than the other two?

Imagine the news if the governor choose another man for the court. The story may be more about how he didn’t pick the female finalist than the congratulations and interest in the male chosen.

I would like to see a woman justice. I say that not only because I’m a woman and it’s nice to see my gender represented, but also because I know there are qualified women to serve as a justice. Judge Moberly is one of them.

Gov. Daniels doesn’t have an easy choice. Some could argue he picks Judge Moberly because she is a woman, even though she would make an excellent justice. He also has two strong candidates in Boone Circuit Judge Steven David and attorney Karl Mulvaney. While I’d like to see a woman on the bench, I wouldn’t be disappointed if Judge David or Mulvaney were picked.

Now we wait and see if Indiana joins most every other state with a female justice.
 

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