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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Indiana Supreme Court Coming to Lawrence County in October

LAWRENCE COUNTY - AUGUST 30, 2022 - Judge Nathan Nikirk announced during the Lawrence County Commissioners meeting this morning; that the Indiana Supreme Court will be coming to the Mitchell Opera House.

Current Indiana Supreme Court Justices

The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments at the Mitchell Opera House on October 26, 2022, with a luncheon to follow at the Spring Mill State Park Inn.

Judge Nikirk says more information will be released to the newspaper of the event.

Indiana Senator and local Attorney Brent Steele applied to be an Indiana Supreme Court Justice back in 2010. Steele was one of nine finalists who was interviewed on July 30, 2010. In that process the finalists were narrowed down to three.

Indiana State Senator and Attorney Brent Steele Applied for a Indiana Supreme Court Vacancy in 2010

In that vacancy there was 34 applicants to replace Justice Theodore Boehm, who planned to retire in September who served 14 years on the bench.

The Indiana Supreme Court consists of one chief justice, and four associate judges, who are Chief Justice Lorreta H. Rush, Justice Steven H. David, Justice Mark S. Massa, Justice Geoffrey G. Slaughter and Justice Christopher M. Goff.

Justices are chosen by a process known as " merit selection" that fosters input from citizens. To be eligible to serve on the Court, a person must have practiced law in Indiana at least ten years or have served at least five years as a trial court judge.

When a vacancy occurs a 7- member Judicial Nominating Commission comprised of attorney's and other citizens recommends three qualified candidates to the Governor.

The Governor then selects one as the new justice. The same commission also selects one of the five to serve as Chief Justice for a five-year term.

After serving two years, the new justice is subject to a statewide retention vote. If a majority votes not to retain the justice the selection process starts over. If the public votes in favor of retention, the justice begins the 10-year term and is subject to a statewide retention vote every ten years. Justices must retire at 75 years of age.

The Indiana Supreme Court created a three-member Supreme Court in 1816 which met in the new capital of Corydon, Indiana. The first court sat in Corydon on May 5, 1817, and consisted of three judges appointed by the Governor to 7-year terms.

The seat of the state government was moved from Corydon to Indianapolis, and the Supreme Court begins it first term in the new state capital on May 5, 1825.

In 1850 the new state constitution required the election of Supreme Court judges by the people and allowed up to five judges who serve six-year terms.

In 1891 a temporary appellate court was created by the legislature to deliver justice more swiftly. This made permanent in 1870.

The Indiana Supreme Court directly reviews appeals involving judgments imposing a sentence of death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, appeals from the denial of post-conviction relief in which the sentence is death, appeals involving waiver of parental consent to abortion, appeals in which a state or federal statue has been declared unconstitutional, appeals involving orders issued by lower courts mandating funds.

The Indiana Supreme Court may review the decision of the Indiana Court of Appeals or Indiana Tax Court.

The Indiana Constitution gives the Supreme Court the important authority to deliver justice in the legal system though its opinions and orders.

In 1970 a constitutional amendment significantly changed the organization of the judicial branch and established the title of justice. Election of appellate judges were eliminated and replaced with an appointment/retention system.

The Judicial Branch plays an important role in the lives of Indiana Hoosiers.

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