As chair of the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission, Chief Justice Randall Shepard oversaw on Thursday the narrowing of the list of candidates vying to replace him on the Supreme Court.
On March 4, Shepard will step down as chair of the joint-Judicial Nominating and Judicial Qualifications commissions, transitioning that role for the time being to Justice Brent Dickson. But Shepard has pushed back his official retirement date and will continue as chief justice of the court until March 23, according to Kathryn Dolan, Supreme Court public information officer.
After Shepard retires, Dickson will become the acting chief justice until the nominating commission chooses a permanent successor from one of the five Indiana Supreme Court justices – including the new justice Governor Mitch Daniels will appoint. Daniels may take up to 60 days to make his decision.
Dickson sat in on the seven semi-finalist interviews Thursday, describing himself as a “silent observer.” The commission chose three finalists for Daniel’s consideration: Court of Appeals Judge Cale Bradford, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Director Mark Massa, and Indiana Judicial Center Director Jane Seigel.
According to Dolan, Shepard invited Dickson to sit in on the commission’s deliberations to ensure a smooth transition since he will soon become chair and will need to conduct that business.