Lighter side of nominating commission

October 27, 2010
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Mike Hoskins wrote this blog post.

Though they were tending to an important job of choosing three finalists to possibly become the next Indiana Tax Court judge, the members of the Judicial Nominating Commission made sure to have some fun and some laughs during the interviews on Wednesday.

Before the interviews began at 9 a.m., Justice Steven David made an appearance before those seven people who in late July had suggested him to the governor as one of three names to consider for the state’s top court. Sworn in Oct. 18, the new justice came to not only to say hello and watch the process but to see if the members wanted anything – a reference to his role as the junior-ranking member of the court who typically votes and speaks first.

“Lobster,” some of the commission members said.

Later, semi-finalist Martha Wentworth mentioned in response to a question about her love for traveling that she hasn’t been to Maine but that she loves lobster. She didn’t know about the earlier lobster mention, which made commission members laugh even more.

Wentworth started her interview saying that she’d done her homework, researching the state “judiciary’s journey” by reading all of the State of the Judiciary speeches by Chief Justice Randall Shepard. Pointing that out to commission members in case they “had three or four hours to spare,” one of the commission members mentioned that’d be a good way to cure insomnia, and attorney-commissioner John Trimble patted the chief justice on the back as everyone shared in some laughter.

During the interviews, commission member Fred McCashland observed that he was impressed with Hendricks Superior Judge Karen Love’s writing style and that she could even write a textbook. While she thanked him, some other commission members asked “what subject” and McCashland responded that it’d be the “subject of her choice.”

The book topic carried over to Carol Comer, who’d mentioned during the first interview that she carried a book to read all the time and at any time might be reading four or five. That hasn’t changed, she said, in mentioning some of the titles that she was reading. She also noted that she’d just returned the previous day from a three-week vacation in Israel.

Other candidates drew some laughs, too: Melony Sacopulos raised some laughter when asking the commission if she could refer to some notes. Chief Justice Shepard pointed out it wasn’t a public political debate.

The commission also showed its light side when welcoming banking attorney Dan Carwile, who is from Evansville like members Christine Keck and Chief Justice Shepard. It’s always positive when that southern Indiana city is represented, the chief justice said to some laughs. Members also asked about Carwile’s transition as an undergraduate from religion, philosophy and English to “the dark side” of business administration and law.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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