State appeals ruling invalidating Marion County judicial election law

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The state is appealing a federal judge’s ruling this month declaring Marion County’s Superior judicial election statute unconstitutional.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller on Friday filed a notice of appeal of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Chief Judge Richard Young’s ruling Oct. 9 in Common Cause Indiana v. Indiana Secretary of State, et al., 1:12-cv-01603.

The statute, I.C. 33-34-19-13(b), grants the Democratic and Republican parties 18 seats apiece on Indianapolis’ Superior Court bench. Because an equal number of candidates from both parties are selected to fill the ballot in during primaries, Young ruled the statute deprives residents a meaningful vote in the general election.

Young’s order was stayed pending appeal and will not apply to the Nov. 4 election, when voters will elect 16 judges from a list of eight Democrats and eight Republicans.

Read more about what’s next for Marion County judicial elections in the Oct. 22 print edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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