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Rush robing completes Supreme Court transition

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Justice Loretta Rush formally was robed the 108th justice of the Indiana Supreme Court on Friday, the third member of the five-member court appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Rush, formerly a Tippecanoe Superior judge who oversaw juvenile court in Lafayette, thanked her family, friends and Daniels, who appointed her the second woman to serve on the court.

“You have left an indelible mark on the state Supreme Court,” Rush remarked to Daniels, noting the qualities she had recognized since joining the court last month in his prior choices, justices Steven David and Mark Massa. “The jury’s still out on me,” Rush quipped.

Rush’s four children, Jacob, Mary, Sarah and Luke, took part in her robing ceremony before about 200 people in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom. Another 100 people watched the ceremony on a video feed inside the Indiana Senate chamber.

“This would be a very good day to rob a bank in Lafayette,” Daniels joked. “Nobody’s home.”

But the governor said few decisions are taken as seriously as the appointment of a justice whose mark will be left on the laws of the state for years to come. “No decision I’ve had to make in this category was easier," Daniels said.

“I’m just so proud to be associated with this particular nomination,” he said.

“I owe a debt of gratitude to our entire community,” Rush said. “You hoisted me on your shoulders and brought me here.”

She noted that she kept photos of the children who appeared in her court beneath the glass top of her desk, and those photos have traveled with her to her statehouse chambers.

“Little did I know it was those children who were preparing me for today,” she said.

Daniels had felt pressure to select a woman during each of the three vacancies that occurred with the departures of Justice Ted Boehm, Chief Justice Randall Shepard and Justice Frank Sullivan. Indiana had been one of only three states whose supreme courts lacked a female justice.

“I look forward to the day a woman’s appointment to the court is unremarkable,” Rush said.

The first woman justice, Myra Selby, who served from 1995-1999, said she had gotten to know Rush since she joined the court, and noted that she even recognized some of her old furniture in the new justice’s chambers.

Selby noted that during Rush’s interviews before the Judicial Nominating Commission, “Justice Rush said she thought one of the ways the judiciary could improve was to increase its transparency.

“She will bring that through her unique voice,” Selby said.

Chief Justice Brent Dickson, who worked in private practice in Lafayette prior to his appointment to the bench, said Rush’s appointment “marks the completion of a massive transformation of the Indiana Supreme Court.” He praised Rush for her intellect, determination and respect for judicial precedent and restraint.

The three justices who joined the court in the last two years brought an end to the court’s most prolonged period of continuity in its history, Daniels noted. During that time, the court gained the admiration of court watchers around the country, he said.

“I hope it doesn’t diminish the occasion to say it reminds me a lot of our local football team,” he said, referencing the recent successful rebuilding of the Indianapolis Colts.

Along with Selby, former justices Boehm, Shepard and Sullivan attended Friday’s ceremony, as did her Supreme Court colleagues and members of the Indiana Tax Court and Indiana Court of Appeals.

Rush also paid tribute to her family, noting that when she was asked during the vetting process about her greatest accomplishment, she responded, “raising kind children. You are kind children,” she said.

She also noted that her robing also marked another special day, her son Jacob’s 11th birthday. “At 1 o’clock today, it’s all about you,” she told him during her remarks.
 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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