Unique situation for Gov. Daniels

August 12, 2010
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Gov. Mitch Daniels might not make the most appointments to our state’s appellate courts while in office, but today he finds himself in a pretty interesting position. He’ll be only the second governor to have appointed someone to all three of Indiana’s appellate courts.

In 2007, he chose Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Cale Bradford, and Judge Elaine Brown in 2008. This year, he’ll select Indiana Supreme Court Justice Theodore Boehm’s replacement, as well as the next Indiana Tax Court judge. Judge Thomas Fisher announced he’s stepping down Jan. 1, 2011.

We’re currently waiting for his decision as to who the next justice will be. The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission selected Boone Circuit Judge Steven David, Marion Superior Judge Robyn Moberly, and Bingham McHale attorney Karl Mulvaney as finalists. Justice Boehm leaves the bench Sept. 30.

Now, Gov. Daniels will be able to leave his legacy on the state’s Tax Court, created in 1986. Judge Fisher has been the only judge to sit on that court. He was appointed by Gov. Robert Orr, the only other governor to have appointed someone to all three appellate courts. Two of his appointments are still on the Supreme Court: Justice Brent Dickson and Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.

As far as current appellate judges, Daniels is beaten so far in the number of appointments made by Govs. Frank O’Bannon and Evan Bayh. The majority of appellate judges currently serving were appointed by them. But, there’s still plenty of time before Daniels’ term is up for some other judges to decide to step down.

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