ILNews

Schedule set for Supreme Court justice vacancy

Michael W. Hoskins
June 2, 2010
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Anyone who wants to be the next Indiana Supreme Court justice has until the end of this month to apply.

The Indiana Supreme Court Judicial Nomination Commission is accepting applications until June 30 for the appellate post, which is being vacated once Justice Theodore Boehm retires Sept. 30.

Most of the process is in the hands of the seven-member commission, which is chaired by Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and consists of three attorneys chosen by their colleagues and three non-lawyers appointed by the governor.

Commission members will conduct public interviews with those applicants on July 6 and 7 in Indianapolis, and then a second round of interviews with semi-finalists will take place July 30. Commission members will deliberate in executive session following those second interviews, then vote in a public session on which three finalists will be forwarded to Gov. Mitch Daniels for consideration.

Though Daniels has appointed two judges in recent years to the Indiana Court of Appeals, this will be his first chance to name a Supreme Court justice and it’s the first time since 1986 that a Republican governor will have the chance to fill a post on that bench.

By law, the governor has 60 days to select a new justice from the time he receives the nomination list. If he fails to do so, the chief justice or acting chief justice would make the appointment from the same list.

A candidate must be an Indiana resident and an Indiana bar member for at least 10 years, or an Indiana judge for at least five years. The annual salary and allowances for a Supreme Court justice is $154,328, according to the court’s public information officer Kathryn Dolan.

Whoever is chosen will serve until he or she faces a retention vote in the next general election at least two years following the appointment, and would then face retention vote every 10 years thereafter. Appellate judges in Indiana are only allowed to serve on the bench until the mandatory retirement age of 75, which was one of the reasons why Justice Boehm – who turns 72 in September - decided to retire now.

The last time a new justice search happened because of Justice Myra Selby’s return to private practice in 1999, the commission received 25 applications – significantly more than the 10 who applied in 1994 when she was chosen by then-Gov. Evan Bayh.

Those interested in applying may contact Adrienne Meiring with the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission at (317) 232-4706. Applications are posted on the state judiciary’s website at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/jud-qual/justice.html.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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