Supreme Court to resume oral arguments with Goff on the bench

After a two-month summer hiatus, the Indiana Supreme Court will resume hearing arguments next month with its newest member sitting on the bench.

After Justice Christopher Goff’s investiture ceremony on Friday, the justice will join his colleagues for his first oral arguments on Sept. 7, the first time the court has had a full bench to hear cases since mid-May, when Justice Robert Rucker retired. Goff was officially sworn in during a private ceremony on July 24, but Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb will publicly administer the ceremonial oath on Friday.

The newest iteration of the high court will then hear its first arguments together at 9:45 a.m. next Thursday in the case of Merchandise Warehouse Company v. Indiana Department of State Revenue, 49T10-1302-TA-00009. In that case, the Indiana Tax Court granted summary judgment to the state Department of Revenue after determining that Merchandise Warehouse Co., a food storage warehouse, was not entitled to a sales tax exemption on the purchase of electricity and freezer equipment.

The Tax Court reached that decision in January after determining Merchandise Warehouse “does not produce other tangible personal property in an integrated production process when it freezes its customers’ food products,” as is required to qualify for an exemption under Indiana Code 6-2.5-5-5.1 or -3. Merchandise Warehouse petitioned the Supreme Court for review.

The high court will then consider whether a man sentenced to death for the murder of two children is entitled to post-conviction relief when it hears the case of Jeffrey Weisheit v. State of Indiana, 10S00-1507-PD-413.

The justices affirmed Jeffrey Weisheit’s death sentence for the murder of his girlfriend’s 8- and 5-year-old children – whom he killed by setting his house on fire in 2010 – in a February 2015 decision. Weisheit then moved for post-conviction relief on the basis of ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel, but the Clark Circuit Court denied that relief, prompting his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Arguments in Weisheit’s case begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 7.

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