INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) - Governor Mitch Daniels (R) announces Tippecanoe County Judge Loretta Rush (R) as the next Indiana Supreme Court justice.
"I am honored to serve as the 108th justice on the Indiana Supreme Court," Tippecanoe County Juvenile Judge, Loretta Rush said.
Juvenile Court Judge Rush was one of three finalists to fill the vacancy. She will be the only female on the bench and is the first woman to sit on the bench in 13 years.
Indiana is currently one of just two states without a woman on the Supreme Court. Governor Mitch Daniels said he wasn't oblivious to that as he considered the three finalists to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Frank Sullivan.
"I wouldn't want anyone to think that that really was a necessary factor here. I do believe she was clearly the best available choice and would have gladly made it on an utterly blind basis or if there were already 2 or 3 women on the Indiana Supreme Court," Governor Mitch Daniels said.
Rush is the first female justice since Myra Selby stepped down in 1999 after five years on the court.
She is the third justice Daniels has appointed to the five-member court in the past two years. She replaces Justice Sullivan, who stepped down after 19 years on the court.
"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," Governor Mitch Daniels said. "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.
The 54-year-old Pennsylvania native says she puts an emphasis on the needs of children.
In 1998, she survived an attack by a former juvenile client who invaded her home and tried to kill her husband.
According to state statute, Governor Daniels will appoint Judge Rush to fill her vacancy as juvenile court judge in Tippecanoe County.
That person must be a resident of Tippecanoe County and be admitted to the bar of Indiana.
"I believe you have to put yourself out for something that you believe in. What a great group of men to be able to start working with. I was honored to even apply and then each step of the way and further re-enforce that this was the right thing to do professionally, but I will miss the juvenile bench in Tippecanoe County," Judge Rush said.
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