Brent Dickson, the Indiana Supreme Court’s most senior member, is the state’s new chief justice.
Brent Dickson has been the acting chief justice for the last seven weeks, since Chief Justice Randall Shepard retired. Four of the justices eligible for the post interviewed with the Judicial Nominating Commission Tuesday. Only Justice Frank Sullivan, who is retiring, did not. Dickson says he didn’t initially want the top job but was convinced by others to accept it
“We’re facing immense change in the personnel on the Court,” he says. “Our employees needed to know that stability is going to reign and that the programs and the personnel were not in jeopardy.”
Dickson says Shepard, who spent 25 years as chief justice, helped make the court one of the most respected and innovative in the country, and he doesn’t plan on deviating from that course.
“I would like to keep things moving as they have been, and I have no agenda for any massive changes other than to retain everything that’s good and try to make it better,” he says.
Chief justices serve five-year terms, but Dickson will have to retire no later than 2016, when he reaches the state’s mandatory retirement age. He says he hasn’t decided whether he’ll serve until that date.