Rucker to assume senior judge status after retirement

Retiring Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker will assume senior judge status after he leaves his seat on the state’s highest bench next month.

In an order posted Tuesday, Chief Justice Loretta Rush signed off on Rucker’s certification as a senior judge, effective May 13 through Dec. 31. He will officially retire May 12.

Rucker is the longest-serving justice currently on the bench, having been appointed to the high court by Gov. Frank O’Bannon in 1999. He is currently the only black justice on the court and has urged the Judicial Nominating Commission and Gov. Eric Holcomb to consider the importance of diversity when selecting his replacement.

Rush and the JNC are interviewing candidates to replace Rucker, with the final round of interviews completed Wednesday. Three names will then be sent to Holcomb, who must make a final selection within 60 days.

Rucker’s retirement will represent a full turnover on the Supreme Court that began with Justice Steve David’s appointment to the bench in October 2010. After Rucker leaves the bench, David will be the longest-serving justice, with nearly seven years of experience.

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