Final Candidates For State Supreme Court Vacancy Chosen Wednesday

Apr 14, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb will soon find out which three candidates he’ll choose from to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker.

Indiana’s Judicial Nominating Commission is made up of the Chief Justice, three members chosen by the governor and three lawyers elected by other lawyers. When a judicial vacancy comes up on the state’s Supreme Court, the commission winnows a field of candidates down to three for the governor to pick from.

This week, the commission will interview 11 semifinalists to replace retiring Justice Rucker. Those candidates were selected from a larger field after a round of interviews back in March.

Indiana University McKinney School of Law Professor Joel Schumm says the commission’s questions will be more difficult this round.

“Between the first interview and the second interview, the commission members will have called references, spoken to other lawyers and done sort of some background work to get a better feel for the candidates,” Schumm says.

And Schumm says he expects the final candidates to be politically middle-of-the-road.

“Someone who’s very ideological or polarizing is not generally going to do well in the process,” Schumm says.

The three finalists will be chosen Wednesday.