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. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

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  4. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  5. 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

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