Number of female judges in Indiana remains stagnant

May 17, 2011
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The good news is Indiana isn’t last when it comes to the number of female judges as compared to the rest of the country. The bad news is we aren’t anywhere near the top of the ranking. The so-so news is that even though we’ve gained three women on the federal bench in the last year, the number of women serving as federal and state judges remains at 20 percent of our total judges. We’ve also dropped three spots in our national ranking to 38 despite the fact our percentage remained the same. That means other states are putting more females on the bench than us.

A report by University of Albany’s Center for Women in Government & Civil Society of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy finds that nationwide, women make up 23 percent of all federal judgeships and 27 percent of all state-level positions.

On the federal level, we’ve made great strides. We went from under 10 percent of our judges being women to just about 15 percent of our judicial makeup being female. But we are just 42nd in the country for our number of female judges. New Jersey is first, with 44 percent of its federal judiciary comprised of women. At least we aren’t Montana, where they have no women on their federal bench.

But Montana trounced us when it comes to female state judges – they are ranked third, at more than 37 percent female. We’re in the bottom half of the rankings, coming in at 39th with a little over 20 percent female state judges.

We are also one of the only states to not have a sitting female justice.

Despite women making up about half of law school graduates, no state is near achieving equal representation of 50 percent on the federal or state bench.

Do you think that how a judge is selected affects these numbers? Are women more likely to make it to the bench through judicial appointments or elections, or does the process even matter?

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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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