19 apply for IN Supreme Court vacancy

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A total of 19 Hoosier lawyers have applied for an upcoming vacancy on the Indiana Supreme Court, including two sitting appellate judges, nearly a dozen trial court judges and the Supreme Court’s chief administrative officer.

The high court on Friday released the names of the 19 candidates who have applied to fill the vacancy that will open this fall when Justice Steven David retires.  The applicants  include:

  • William W. Barrett, partner, Williams Barrett & Wilkowski, Greenwood
  • Judge Jeffrey W. Clymer, Porter Superior Court
  • Judge Jennifer L. DeGroote, Allen Superior Court
  • Justin P. Forkner, chief administrative officer, Indiana Supreme Court Office of Judicial Administration, Indianapolis
  • Judge Ryan K. Gardner, Marion Superior Court
  • Judge James A. Joven, Marion Superior Court
  • Judge Dana J. Kenworthy, Grant Superior Court
  • Judge Robert D. Krieg, Gibson Superior Court
  • Judge Gretchen S. Lund, Elkhart Superior Court
  • Matthew J. McGovern, McGovern Law Office, Fishers
  • Judge Amy S. Miskimen, Warrick Superior Court
  • Judge Derek R. Molter, Indiana Court of Appeals
  • Judge Jaime M. Oss, LaPorte Superior Court
  • Patrick W. Price, special counsel, Office of Management and Budget, Indianapolis
  • Judge Rudolph R. Pyle III, Indiana Court of Appeals
  • William N. Riley, RileyCate, Fishers
  • Curtis E. Shirley, Law Office of Curtis E. Shirley, Carmel
  • Judge Mark E. Spitzer, Grant Circuit Court
  • Judge Lisa L. Swaim, Cass Superior Court

The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush, will decide which candidates will be asked to participate in initial interviews in late February/early March. A group of semifinalists will then be selected for a second round of interviews in April.

The JNC will then select three finalists, whose names will be submitted to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb. The governor will make the final selection of Indiana’s next justice.

To be eligible to serve as a justice, candidates must be an Indiana resident and must have been a member of the Indiana bar for at least 10 years, or have served as an Indiana judge for at least five years.

Holcomb has selected one other Supreme Court justice: Justice Christopher Goff, who joined the bench in 2017 when now-Senior Judge Robert Rucker retired. He has also selected three judges of the Court of Appeals of Indiana: Molter in 2021, Judge Leanna Weissmann in 2020  and Judge Elizabeth Tavitas in 2018.

Like Supreme Court justices, Court of Appeals judges are selected through the merit selection process led by the JNC. In addition to Rush, the commission includes three lawyers elected by the bar and three nonlawyers appointed by the governor.

Current JNC members include lawyers Anthony Patterson, Bill Winingham and Holly Wojcik, and nonlawyers Katie Glick, Danny Lopez and Rudy Yakym III.

Currently, all justices on the Indiana Supreme Court were appointed by Republican governors, and Holcomb’s selection of the next justice will continue that trend. On the Court of Appeals, seven judges were appointed by Republican governors and eight by Democratic governors.

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