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IBA: Website to Provide Info About Appellate Judges on Retention Ballot

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Indiana’s Appellate Courts are once again providing voters with a simple avenue for learning about judges who are on the November retention ballot. A website has been created to help voters make informed decisions. The site is designed to give voters access to biographical information about the judges and details about the decisions they have made while serving on the bench. The website can be found at courts.IN.gov/retention.

In November, the following Court of Appeals Judges will appear on the retention ballot: L. Mark Bailey of the First District which includes southern Indiana, Elaine B. Brown of the Fifth District which includes the entire state, Cale J. Bradford of the Second District which includes central Indiana, Melissa S. May of the Fourth District which includes the entire state and Margret G. Robb of the Fifth District which includes the entire state.

The website is designed to be user-friendly with a number of ways for voters to learn about judges. Visitors to the site can watch appellate cases unfold first-hand. Oral argument video is webcast live and later archived. The retention website allows voters to watch those arguments. Voters can also search a database of judicial opinions. Opinions are the written decisions of a case and are available for citizens to read.

In 2008 the Appellate Courts developed a similar website after Senate President Pro Tempore David Long urged the judiciary to provide more information about the retention election to voters. Court of Appeals Judges Terry Crone and Cale Bradford (who were not on the 2008 ballot) coordinated the website creation. The Indiana Division of State Court Administration provided technical support.

Indiana selects appellate judges based on merit. The Judicial Nominating Commission interviews judicial applicants and provides the Governor with a list of three candidates. The Governor makes the final selection. Once appointed, after serving two years, a judge must stand for retention in the first general election. The voter is presented with the question “Should Justice (or Judge) Jane B. Jones be retained in office?” If the judge receives a majority of “yes” votes, the judge is retained. The judge is then on the retention ballot every 10 years.• 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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