INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Friday he has selected a longtime juvenile court judge as the next member of the state Supreme Court.
Tippecanoe County Judge Loretta Hogan Rush will replace Justice Frank E. Sullivan Jr.
In April, Sullivan announced he would be stepping down from the bench, leaving to become a faculty member at Indiana University's law school.
His appointment took effect at the start of the fall semester.
"In studying Judge Rush's stellar legal and judicial career, hearing from a diverse multitude of her admirers, and observing her firsthand as she helped us bring reform and improvement to Indiana's child welfare system, I concluded she is the best choice among a strong set of finalists," Daniels said in a statement.
"Her jurisprudential philosophy and her commitment to judicial restraint are firm and forthright. I have every confidence she'll serve Indiana with the distinction we've come to expect from our Supreme Court."
For the first 14 years of her career she was an associate, then partner, in the firm of Reiling, Teder, Withered and Rush in Lafayette. Among areas of her general practice, she focused on family law, business, corporate and probate cases.
Rush, 54, was elected to the bench in 1998 and has served since then in Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 in Lafayette. Her court focuses on juvenile cases, including guardianships, delinquencies, adoptions and protective order hearings.
As the chair of the Indiana Juvenile Justice Improvement Committee, she has been closely involved with statutory and regulatory efforts to bring better and standardized child welfare practices to Indiana.
"I am honored to serve the people of our great state as the 108th justice of the Indiana Supreme Court," Rush said Friday. "I intend to work with the other four justices to build on our Supreme Court's record of excellence, integrity and respect for the law."
According to The Associated Press, Rush is the first woman to serve on the high court in 13 years.
The last female justice to serve on the Court was Myra Selby, who stepped down in 1999.
Daniels' office said the other finalists selected by the Judicial Nominating Commission were Hamilton County Superior Court Judge Steven R. Nation and Geoffrey G. Slaughter, an Indianapolis attorney.
According to the Indiana Constitution and state statute, the seven-member commission must recruit and select candidates to fill vacancies on Indiana appellate courts.
The commission, which is chaired by Chief Justice Brent E. Dickson and includes three attorneys and three citizens, sent the three most qualified candidates to Daniels.
Rush earned her undergraduate degree from Purdue University and her law degree from Indiana University's Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.
She and her husband, Jim Rush, are the parents of four children.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.