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Rush takes oath as chief justice in understated event

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Choosing an intimate but profound setting in the Indiana Supreme Court Law Library to take the oath Aug. 18 as the state’s first female chief justice, Loretta Rush said the history in the tomes spoke volumes to her.

“I consider it to be a jewel of our Indiana Statehouse,” Rush said. “I love these law books,” representative of more than two centuries of the rule of law in the state.

Rush noted she told Chief Justice Brent Dickson that she’d like her swearing in to be “small, soon and in the law library.” She also suggested the speed at which the event was arranged was a good sign for government efficiency.

rush-15col.jpg Loretta Rush takes the oath to become chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court from Gov. Mike Pence, left, on Aug. 18, alongside her husband, Jim, and youngest son, Luke. (IL Photo/Dave Stafford)

The Judicial Nominating Commission on Aug. 6 selected Rush to be the next chief justice, succeeding Dickson, who will remain on the court as a justice until he faces mandatory retirement in July 2016.

Alongside her husband, Jim, and youngest son, Luke, Rush took the oath administered by Gov. Mike Pence. Saying it was proper to note the historic occasion, Pence also referred to her selection by the Judicial Nominating Commission, whose members said she was “quite simply, the best choice to lead the best state Supreme Court as its chief justice.”

Rush expressed gratitude to Dickson and longtime Justice Robert Rucker and also vowed to continue the collegial and collaborative atmosphere with Justices Steven David and Mark Massa.

“I look forward to many, many, many more years together,” Rush said to her colleagues.

The swearing-in ceremony lasted only about 45 minutes, including remarks from Dickson, Pence and Rush. Current and former justices along with judges of the Court of Appeals and Tax Court, Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and other dignitaries attended.

“I haven’t been this nervous in a law library since my first year at law school across the street,” Pence quipped in marking a “new and historic chapter in Indiana’s highest court.”

Pence also saluted Dickson, who he said had been a mentor and friend to him for years before he was elected governor. Pence called Dickson’s tenure as chief short but substantive, and said it was marked by a commitment to the “longstanding tradition of excellence for this court.”

Dickson said, “I am really looking forward to having Chief Justice Rush at our helm,” saying she is “remarkably well-equipped to serve.”

He also noted Rush’s background – growing up in Lake County and Richmond before attending undergrad at Purdue University and graduating from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, after which she served in private practice and on the bench in Tippecanoe County.

“Loretta Rush is Hoosier, through and through,” Dickson said. He said she’s also an innovator – “She can be a dynamo in leadership.”

Rush singled out a part of the Indiana Constitution highlighted in the law library – Article 1, Section 12 – that she said was inspiring to her. She read it aloud:

“All courts shall be open; and every person, for injury done to him in his person, property, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law. Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial; speedily, and without delay.”

Rush said her time to date on the court has been nothing less than inspiring.

“I guess there’s only one thing left to be said,” she concluded. “Let’s get back to work.”•

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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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