Legislation would extend Marion Superior judges’ terms

January 5, 2017

A proposal for a new judicial selection system for Indianapolis would require term extensions for all 36 Marion Superior judges, the bill’s author said.

Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, said that under his Senate Bill 79, terms of all current Marion Superior judges would be extended. He said judges who were elected to six-year terms in 2012 or 2014 would receive two-year or four-year term extensions.

The longer terms would be necessary to enable the bill’s goals of maintaining partisan balance and creating a retention system for judges. The bill proposes 12 of the 36 Marion Superior judges will face retention votes in elections every two years beginning in 2020. Merritt’s bill would institute a judicial selection committee to fill judicial vacancies, replacing the Marion County judicial election statute struck down in 2015 by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

House Bill 1036 authored by Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Danville, and sponsored by House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, mirrors SB 79. At least one other proposal for Marion County judicial selection is expected to be filed in this session of the General Assembly.

Read more about proposals for Marion County judicial selection in the Jan. 11 edition of Indiana Lawyer.


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