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Governor has met with Supreme Court finalists

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Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels wants to move quickly on appointing the state’s next Indiana Supreme Court justice. He has already met with the three finalists who are vying for that position.

The Judicial Nominating Commission on Feb. 22 interviewed seven semi-finalists and selected Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Cale Bradford, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Director Mark Massa and Indiana Judicial Center Director Jane Seigel as finalists. One will be chosen to succeed Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, who is retiring March 23.

On Wednesday, the chief justice sent a six-page letter to the governor detailing the commission’s selection of finalists and each person’s background and experience. The letter concludes by saying each nominee is someone of “such high caliber that they would be a lasting credit to the state’s high court.”

The letter is a typical procedural step, one that officially starts the clock on the governor’s 60-day timetable to make a decision.

Daniels told reporters Friday morning that he talked with each of the finalists. He plans to make a decision “way ahead of the deadline” and is moving quickly, but wants to make sure he is being thoughtful about the process. When asked about the court’s gender diversity, Daniels said the importance of choosing a woman is a factor but one that doesn’t trump other factors such as merit and judicial philosophy.

“I would love nothing more, in this context and many more for that matter, to appoint women, and minorities likewise,” Daniels said. “But it’s a tie-breaker. In the case of a job this important, it comes down below the qualities that I mentioned. We’ve got to have the best qualified judge, one with the best temperament, and I want to see someone who will respect the separations of power and boundaries of judicial decision-making.”

Shepard’s term as chief justice expires on Sunday. From then until his retirement, he will have the title of acting chief justice. After Shepard’s retirement, Justice Brent Dickson, the justice who will then have the most seniority, will take over as acting chief until the Judicial Nominating Commission chooses a successor following Daniels’ appointment.

 

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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