Indiana names first female Supreme Court chief justice

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The next chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court will be a woman. Loretta Rush was chosen Wednesday to become the first woman selected as chief justice in Indiana.

Rush was one of four candidates for the job and, among them, she had the smallest amount of experience on the Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, insiders were not surprised by the selection. Rush has 30 years of legal experience — half of it in the private practice of law and half of it as a judge. She was a juvenile court judge in Lafayette before she joined the Supreme Court last year.

Rush was chosen by the seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission that is chaired by current Chief Justice Brent Dickson, a former law partner of hers.

“I look forward to the day that it’s unremarkable that there’s a woman on this court or a woman chief justice,” said Rush, “but I’m thrilled to be a woman chief justice on the Indiana Supreme Court.”

Dickson said any of the candidates would be a great fit for chief justice.

“So it was not a matter of choosing someone who was a standout,” he said. “This was really a close call.”

Justice Dickson is stepping down as chief but will remain on the state Supreme Court. He said he will pass the baton to Rush later this month.

He also said her gender was not a factor in committee deliberations but during the interviews she was the only candidate who was asked how she would balance work and family life.

Rush will serve a five-year term as chief justice.

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