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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  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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