Lawyers Support the Judges They Picked in Indiana
October 19, 2012
In a recent vote, more than 80% of the attorneys in the Indiana Bar Association recommended the retention of two state Supreme Court justices and four Court of Appeals judges on the November ballot. Which means one of two things: Either Indiana judges are the wisest, most competent jurists on the planet … or judicial selection in Indiana has become a clubby, insider’s game that gives special privileges to special interest groups like the Indiana Bar.
As in every “merit” selection state, in Indiana, lawyers dominate the judicial selection process, controlling a majority of seats on both the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications and the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission. After hand-picking its own judges, the Bar then weighs in with its instructions to voters to keep its preferred jurists on the bench. The fact that not a single judge has ever lost a retention election in the 42 years since “merit” selection was adopted indicates how air-tight the Bar’s control has become.