It's now up to Gov. Mitch Daniels to decide who will be the next Indiana Court of Appeals judge.
This afternoon, the Judicial Nominating Commission selected Marion Superior judges Cale Bradford and Robyn L. Moberly, and Hamilton Superior Judge William J. Hughes as the final nominees to recommend to the governor. The selection came after the second round of interviews today, which had included six-semi-finalists. Twenty had originally applied and been interviewed.
Aside from the three selected, Marion Superior judges Cynthia Ayres and Kenneth Johnson, and Cass County deputy prosecutor Randall C. Head were interviewed today.
Of all the candidates, Judge Hughes made the most noticeable entrance as more than a dozen former law clerks attended his interview – something that he described as being "a surprise."
Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard asked each to take the initial seven to 10 minutes to describe three ideas on making the appellate court more efficient.
The applicants' suggestions overlapped on issues such as expanding the use of technology and "going paperless" at the appellate level to keep up with growing caseloads, case management techniques such as changing motions panel setups, increasing the number of arguments overall and those held in locations across the state, and creating special tracts to allow faster resolution of certain types of appeals.
By law, the governor must make an appointment within 60 days of the vacancy set for Aug. 1. The appointee will serve until the next general election following two years on the appellate bench, facing at that point a retention vote if he or she wishes to stay on the court.