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Daniels Appointees May Not Change Supreme Court’s Direction

When he leaves office, Governor Mitch Daniels will have appointed three of the five Supreme Court justice.

massa daniels

Photo: Indiana Courts

Justice Mark Massa speaks after being appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels to the state Supreme Court.

With the announcement Friday of Tippecanoe County judge Loretta Rush as Indiana’s next Supreme Court Justice, Governor Mitch Daniels will now have three appointees on the five-person bench.

Rush has experience in private practice and 14 years as a juvenile court judge in Tippecanoe County. She also helped overhaul the child welfare system in Indiana as head of the state’s Juvenile Justice Improvement Committee.

Chief Justice Brent Dickson says Rush’s background will help boost the court’s credentials in dealing with juvenile matters.

“We have perhaps one of the best equipped state Supreme Courts in the country to deal with these issues which are growing in importance, as you know, and as we see in the headlines across the country,” he says.

Daniels praised Rush’s youth and says she expressed a desire to serve on the court for a long time.  He cited that as an important factor in his decision to appoint her.

Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor Joel Schumm says longevity is where Daniels’ impact on the court lies.

“Ten, 15 years from now we very well may have three Daniels appointees still on the court so in that way there’s a legacy and there’s an effect but I don’t really see the court shifting and taking a different direction because of these appointees,” he says.

Schumm says all three Daniels appointees believe in judicial restraint–a position, he says, the court as a body has largely taken in its history.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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