Marion County, IN Judge Selection Bill Faces Criticism

Members of Indiana’s Black Legislative Caucus have criticized legislation to write a new judicial selection method for Marion County, the home of the state capital, saying it does not do enough to advance diversity on the bench.

You can learn about details of the latest version of the legislation from Gavel Grab. In the words of The Indianapolis Star, members of the Black Caucus said the bill “encourages disenfranchisement of minority voters because it does not require the [nominating and selection] committee to have minority or diverse members. Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, said she’s concerned the current proposal would result in a judiciary that’s too slanted toward one race or toward one political party affiliation and does not represent diversity in Marion County.”

With the bill on the House floor, an amendment to move to the outright election of Marion County Superior Court judges failed. Other coverage included Indiana Lawyer, “Black lawmakers oppose Marion County judge selection bill”; and Indianapolis Business Journal, “Lawmakers concerned about judicial diversity if ‘merit’ bill passes.”

When Justice at Stake submitted a statement earlier about a different version of the bill, it proposed changes to ensure a well-designed merit selection system and said that such a system promotes diversity on the bench.