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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. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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