By initiating a constitutional amendment based on misinformation, three Indiana Republican state senators, now joined by multiple others, have proposed a radical resolution to eliminate citizen involvement in the retention vote of appellate judges, changing the current selection process that has been in place for 50 years. This proposal also severely decreases judicial independence and increases the political pressure on our state’s appellate judiciary. Indeed, if successful, the proposal would give the legislative branch far greater control over the Indiana state appellate judges and justices. It would also further embed in Indiana’s Constitution more systemic racism.
The Black Lives Matter movement jolted us from our self-satisfied stasis. But to change things, we must do things. If silence is violence, then speaking without specifics is only nominally better. To bring the justice protesters so desire, it is time to recognize the deeply embedded systemic racism in Indiana and develop a list of specific demands to yield measurable results. The risk of not doing so is too great: the country simply cannot become further torn over racial injustice.