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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. I will continue to pray that God keeps giving you the strength and courage to keep fighting for what is right and just so you are aware, you are an inspiration to those that are feeling weak and helpless as they are trying to figure out why evil keeps winning. God Bless.....

  2. Some are above the law in Indiana. Some lined up with Lodges have controlled power in the state since the 1920s when the Klan ruled Indiana. Consider the comments at this post and note the international h.q. in Indianapolis. http://www.theindianalawyer.com/human-trafficking-rising-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/42468. Brave journalists need to take this child torturing, above the law and antimarriage cult on just like The Globe courageously took on Cardinal Law. Are there any brave Hoosier journalists?

  3. I am nearing 66 years old..... I have no interest in contacting anyone. All I need to have is a nationality....a REAL Birthday...... the place U was born...... my soul will never be at peace. I have lived my life without identity.... if anyone can help me please contact me.

  4. This is the dissent discussed in the comment below. See comments on that story for an amazing discussion of likely judicial corruption of some kind, the rejection of the rule of law at the very least. http://www.theindianalawyer.com/justices-deny-transfer-to-child-custody-case/PARAMS/article/42774#comment

  5. That means much to me, thank you. My own communion, to which I came in my 30's from a protestant evangelical background, refuses to so affirm me, the Bishop's courtiers all saying, when it matters, that they defer to the state, and trust that the state would not be wrong as to me. (LIttle did I know that is the most common modernist catholic position on the state -- at least when the state acts consistent with the philosophy of the democrat party). I asked my RCC pastor to stand with me before the Examiners after they demanded that I disavow God's law on the record .... he refused, saying the Bishop would not allow it. I filed all of my file in the open in federal court so the Bishop's men could see what had been done ... they refused to look. (But the 7th Cir and federal judge Theresa Springmann gave me the honor of admission after so reading, even though ISC had denied me, rendering me a very rare bird). Such affirmation from a fellow believer as you have done here has been rare for me, and that dearth of solidarity, and the economic pain visited upon my wife and five children, have been the hardest part of the struggle. They did indeed banish me, for life, and so, in substance did the the Diocese, which treated me like a pariah, but thanks to this ezine ... and this is simply amazing to me .... because of this ezine I am not silenced. This ezine allowing us to speak to the corruption that the former chief "justice" left behind, yet embedded in his systems when he retired ... the openness to discuss that corruption (like that revealed in the recent whistleblowing dissent by courageous Justice David and fresh breath of air Chief Justice Rush,) is a great example of the First Amendment at work. I will not be silenced as long as this tree falling in the wood can be heard. The Hoosier Judiciary has deep seated problems, generational corruption, ideological corruption. Many cases demonstrate this. It must be spotlighted. The corrupted system has no hold on me now, none. I have survived their best shots. It is now my time to not be silent. To the Glory of God, and for the good of man's law. (It almost always works that way as to the true law, as I explained the bar examiners -- who refused to follow even their own statutory law and violated core organic law when banishing me for life -- actually revealing themselves to be lawless.)

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