Indiana legal and government officials gathered at the Statehouse Monday to celebrate the retirement of Chief Justice Randall Shepard. Shepherd’s 27 years on the bench make him the longest serving state court chief justice in the country.
Chief Justice Shepard was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court in 1985 and elevated to chief just two years later. At his retirement ceremony, Shepard was honored by the leaders of the state and national bar associations, the Indiana Judges Association, his former law clerks and staff, acting chief justice Brent Dickson and Governor Mitch Daniels.
Daniels and Shepard have known each other since college, and the governor says it’s tough to imagine the Chief Justice leaving the bench.
“You know, the Colts without Peyton was hard enough,” he says. “The Indiana judiciary without Shepard I can’t comprehend.”
Shepard talked about the legacy of reform he hopes will continue after his retirement. The Chief Justice says it’s not just the work but the friendships he will remember most.
“I appreciate enormously the professional life made possible by being part of this winning team of extraordinary colleagues,” he said.
Shepard says, in the near future, he will work with national legal organizations and the academic community in his retirement.