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Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court

justices

Edited by Linda C. Gugin and James E. St. Clair

From its inception in 1816 until 2010, 106 Hoosiers have been members of the Indiana Supreme Court. In this multiauthor volume, edited by Linda C. Gugin and James E. St. Clair, writers explore the lives of each justice, unearthing not only standard biographical information but also personal stories that offer additional insight into their lives and times.

In the early days of Indiana statehood, the men who served on the Supreme Court often learned their profession by studying in the office of a trained lawyer and began their careers as judges by “riding the circuit.” Over the years, the court has been home to an eclectic group of justices, including a novelist who attempted to have copies of his work destroyed because the “morals of the book were not suitable for the minds of young people,” a judge whose collection of court cases became known worldwide, two men who served on the Nuremberg proceedings trying Nazi war criminals, and a jurist whose hobbies included photographing the Indianapolis 500. Today’s court is quite different from the state’s first Supreme Court established when Indiana joined the Union as the 19th state. Through the years, it has grown from three members to five, and what began as a body appointed by the governor with the “advice and consent” of the Indiana Senate became a body elected by voters thanks to the 1851 Indiana Constitution. In 1970, Hoosier voters approved an amendment to the state constitution passed by the Indiana General Assembly that replaced partisan elections with a merit-based system of gubernatorial appointment checked with nonpartisan retention elections.

 

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