Thursday, February 09, 2012

Judicial Nominating Commission Narrows Supreme Court Candidates To Seven

After the first round of interviews for the 15 candidates for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice Randall Shepard, the Judicial Nominating Commission has narrowed the list to seven finalists for a second round of interviews from whom three will be recommended to Gov. Mitch Daniels before the end of this month. They are the following:

1.Hon. Robert R. Altice, Jr., Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division 2

2.Hon. Cale J. Bradford, Indiana Court of Appeals

3.Hon. Maria D. Granger, Floyd Superior Court 3

4.Mr. Mark S. Massa, Indianapolis

5.Hon. Robyn L. Moberly, Marion Superior Court, Civil Division 5

6.Mr. Steven R. Schultz, Columbus

7.Ms. Jane A. Seigel, Indianapolis

Interestingly, the Commission did not advance one of the two finalists for last year's court vacancy who reapplied for this vacancy, appellate lawyer Karl Mulvaney. Both of Gov. Mitch Daniels' former chief counsels, Mark Massa and Steven Schultz, made the cut. Three of the semi-finalist candidates are women compared to four men. None of the current Supreme Court justices are women. Four of the semi-finalists are sitting judges, including Cale Bradford of the Court of Appeals and superior court judges Robert Altice, Jr. Robyn Moberly and Maria Granger. Granger seems like an unlikely choice for a conservative Republican governor to name to the court because she is a liberal Democrat. Moberly was among the three finalists recommended by the Commission for last year's vacancy, which was filled by Steven David.

It should be pointed out that Judge Altice is a candidate for re-election this year. He was slated by the Marion Co. GOP, along with nine other candidates. If he were to be appointed by Gov. Daniels to the Supreme Court, he would no longer be a candidate for re-nomination, but his name would still be on the May primary ballot since the decision will not be made until after the deadline for primary candidates to withdraw their names from the ballot. Marion Superior Court Judge Carol Orbison, who was not re-slated at the GOP slating convention, has filed to run in the primary, which means 11 candidates would be on the May Republican primary ballot in Marion County for ten judicial spots.


HerbertWalker said...

its going to be moberly.

mulvaney would have made it at least to the semis otherwise, and knowing this the commission probably decided not to string him along as they did his first go-around.

altice. everyone loves that guy. but as a Supreme Court Justice? scary. he gets reversed on a regular basis. seems like he started making defense calls after getting whacked on appeal. then the AG started taking him to task. consequences of not being "big on the law," as he's been heard telling trial counsel now and again. but he is the Cool Judge.

all the more reason to think the decision has already been made.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I don't know Herbert, if the AG is against Altice, he's my man. Zoeller isn't in the position to criticize anyone's knowledge of the law.

I do agree Moberly is probably the favorite. It doesn't hurt she's a woman and the court is all male.

Gary R. Welsh said...

My money is on Schultz. He's a Barnes & Thornburg guy and the firm wants Daniels to appoint him. Both Grand and Rusthoven are backing him.