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Indiana Supreme Court semi-finalists named

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Indiana Statehouse - PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON NETHERLAND VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Photo courtesy of Jason Netherland via Flickr Creative Commons
  • Indiana Statehouse

Half of the 10 semi-finalists for an opening on the all-male Indiana Supreme Court are women and six now serve as judges in Indiana's trial and appellate courts.

The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission picked the semi-finalists on Wednesday after it interviewed 22 applicants for the opening that will be created when Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. leaves the court later this summer.

The commission deliberated in executive session for three hours before voting publicly on the names.

"We had a very difficult task and it will not get easier with the next round of interviews," said Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson, who chairs the seven-member commission.

"The applicants submitted exemplary written documents to help us get to know them," he said. "Meeting each candidate in person allowed us to see how talented these individuals are and consider how they each might best serve the judiciary."

The semifinalists are:

-Indiana Appeals Judge Cale Bradford

-Allen Superior Judge Frances M. Gull

-Attorney Erin Reilly Lewis of Indianapolis

-Attorney AndrielleMetzel of Indianapolis

-Hamilton Superior Judge Steven Nation

-Tippecanoe Superior Judge Loretta Rush

-Attorney Geoffrey Slaughter of Indianapolis

-Delaware Circuit Judge Marianne Vorhees

-Henry Circuit Judge Mary Willis

-Attorney John Young of Indianapolis

The nominating commission will conduct a second round of interviews with the semi-finalists Aug. 8-9 before choosing three finalists, whose names will be forwarded to Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Daniels will make the appointment and pressure has been mounting for him to appoint a woman. It will be his third Supreme Court pick in two years, which means he will have appointed a majority of the five-member Indiana Supreme Court.

Most recently, Daniels appointed Justices Mark Massa, one of his former advisors, and attorney Steven David. In both cases, the finalists included a female attorney but Daniels has said he won't pick a woman over a more qualified candidate.

Lesley Weidenbener is managing editor of The Statehouse File, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.

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