Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush will become Indiana’s new Chief Justice, the first woman to lead the state’s highest court. The decision was made Wednesday by the Judicial Nominating Commission.
Rush is the Court’s newest justice, chosen by Governor Mitch Daniels in 2012. The former Tippecanoe County juvenile court judge replaces Brent Dickson as Chief Justice.
Dickson announced in June he would step down from his position leading the Court, though he’ll stay on the bench as an Associate Justice. Dickson took part in the decision to name Rush as the new Chief and says making her the first female in the job didn’t come up in the Nominating Commission’s discussion.
“The four qualities that I thought were important going into this," says Dickson, "were serving as the public face of the court, leadership, management skills and experience and I think Justice Rush is outstanding in each of those areas.”
Rush has 30 years experience in the judicial system as a lawyer and trial court judge but only two years as a state Supreme Court Justice. She says she appreciates the vote of confidence from the Commission.
“I look forward to the day that it’s unremarkable that there’s a woman on this Court," says Rush, "or a woman Chief Justice but I’m thrilled to be a woman Chief Justice on the Indiana Supreme Court.”
Rush is a mother of four children and says she thinks about a balance between work and family, and feels it’s important for a person with that balance to serve on the Supreme Court. Dickson says Rush will take over as Chief likely sometime later this month.