Sue Shields' faves for state supreme court

July 8, 2010
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The nine semifinalists for the Indiana Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice Ted Boehm comprise perhaps the best class of candidates for the position in decades.

That’s how Sue Shields, who grew to become a legend in the Indiana legal profession before retiring as a U.S. magistrate in 2006, sees the group announced yesterday from an initial field of 34.

When the nine are narrowed to three finalists by the Judicial Nominating Commission, Gov. Mitch Daniels should have little trouble naming a justice he likes, Shields says.

“This panel is just outstanding. The quality is just excellent,” she says. “It’s a good mix.”

The nine are Baker & Daniels Partner Ellen Boshkoff; Boone County Circuit Judge Steve David; Kip Drew, associate general counsel at Indiana University; Johnson County Superior Judge Cynthia Emkes; Tom Fisher, solicitor general at the Indiana Attorney General’s Office; Marion Superior County Judge Robyn Moberly; Bingham McHale Partner Karl Mulvaney; Hamilton County Superior Judge Steve Nation; and state Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford.

Many observers think Daniels should name a woman, since none of the four remaining justices are female, and Boshkoff, Drew, Emkes and Moberly are women.

In that light, Shields says her list of finalists would actually be four: Boshkoff, Emkes, Moberly and Nation.

“There are, in my opinion, at least four very strong candidates,” she says. “I don’t know who I cut out.”

Shields emphasizes that her picks are based heavily on her positive experiences with the four. The only semifinalists she has virtually no knowledge of are David and Steele.

Daniels’ ultimate decision is difficult to predict, Shields says. She cannot discern a pattern in his choices for judges, some of whom she describes as dark horses. Still, Shields says she has “utmost respect” for Daniels, who also is a Republican, and believes he characteristically has “good reasons” for his choices.

What are your thoughts on the finalists, and the selection process? Would you have named the same nine? Who should make the short list?

  • Should-a been!
    Too bad Judge Shields is no longer in the running. She set the standard for judicial candidates over many years. More than a few lawyers and judges still think it was a huge mistake of history that she was never chosen for the Indiana Supreme Court.
  • Not Emkes -- very, very, anti-male and anti-father
    I was before injustice Emkes. She did not write a decision, but selected to sign a one-sided presented decree from the opposing attorney. This decree allowed me to be sports coach.

    When I went back to court to enforce the very limited parenting rights not stolen, injustice Emkes apologized for signing a decree that had any requirement for the mother. Basically, told my ex-wife that she will never enforce or require civil behavior.

    Emkes would be the very, very bad for children and very bad for those who feel parents should be treated equally in court.

    Look at all the appeals from her cases. This clearly says people feel the decisions are unjust. (appeals are seldom won as "Judge discretion" come before fairness and justice.
  • Don't give in to pressure
    Of all of these fine judges, Steve Nation stands out above all of the rest.

    Take a closer look at Shields' choices - the three women and Nation. As the article is written, the women were selected as finalists in a bent towards gender.

    This is not to say that they are not fine judges, they truly are or they would not have made it this far, but this is an example of gender bias at its finest.

    Steve Nation has been an excellent judge for Hamilton County, and is an exceptional choice for Supreme Court Justice.

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