Written by: Kelly Doria, MCCOY’s Chair of the Board of Director
The Indiana Supreme Court will have a vacancy on the court following the retirement of Chief Justice Randall Shepard on March 23, 2012. On February 22, 2012, the Judicial Nominating Committee (7 member commission) narrowed the pool of judicial candidates to the following semi-finalists: Cale Bradford (Indiana Court of Appeals), Mark Massa (Executive Director of Indiana Criminal Justice Institute) and Jane Siegel (Executive Director of the Indiana Judicial Center).
Each semi-finalist was asked to discuss two things that need improving in Indiana courts that a justice might help solve. Ms. Seigel was the only candidate who cited the need to improve the juvenile justice to keep youth out of the system. So frequently, the concerns of the juvenile justice system are overlooked that I think having a juvenile justice advocate on the state’s highest court will help focus the judicial system and ultimately improve outcomes for our youth. Diversity of perspective may be lacking on the bench in Indiana. According to statistics from the National Center for State Courts, Indiana is one of only three states that does not have a woman on its Supreme Court.
In addition to legal competency, ethics, and integrity, let’s hope Governor Daniels considers our youth when he appoints the next Indiana Supreme Court justice.