Rush Is Indiana’s First Female Chief Justice
By Mike Perleberg
The current Indiana Supreme Court. Newly selected chief justice Loretta Rush is in the center. Photo by Indiana Courts.
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana’s new chief justice is the first female to fill that role in the state’s history.
After interviewing four justices Wednesday, the Indiana Judicial Nomination Commission selected Justice Loretta H. Rush to take the top job on the Indiana Supreme Court.
“I look forward to the day that it’s unremarkable that there’s a woman on this court or a woman chief justice, but I’m thrilled to be a woman chief justice on the Indiana Supreme Court,” Rush said after her selection.
The nomination commission of seven members wrapped up the interviews and went into an executive session at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. They emerged at about 3:50 p.m. to announce Rush as their choice.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence released a statement congratulating Rush on her selection.
“With this selection, the Judicial Nominating Commission has made history and ensured that Indiana’s Supreme Court will continue to have outstanding leadership in the years ahead. With her extensive legal experience, proven character and commitment to public service, I am confident that Chief Justice Rush will serve our judiciary and our state with distinction,” said Pence.
Current Chief Justice Brent Dickson is stepping down later in August, but will remain on the five-member panel. He said the commission’s decision was a tough one.
“All of us on the commission were convinced that any one of these people would be a great chief justice. So it was not a matter of choosing somebody who was a standout. This was really a close vote,” Dickson said.
Rush’s career as a judge began with a 14-year stint on the bench in Tippecanoe Superior Court III. She was first named to the state supreme court in 2012 by then-Governor Mitch Daniels.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1958, her family settled in Indiana in 1972. According to her biography, she earned her undergraduate degree from Purdue University and graduated cum laude from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, where she now serves on the law school’s Board of Visitors.