INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Loretta Rush, a longtime juvenile court judge who
joined the Indiana Supreme Court in 2012, was named the court's first
female chief justice Wednesday.
Nominating Commission chose Rush to succeed Justice Brent Dickson as the
high court's leader. Dickson announced in June that he would step down as
chief justice but remain an associate justice.
Randall Shepard as chief justice in 2012. He faces mandatory retirement
when he turns 75 in 2016.
Rush, 56, worked
in private practice with a Lafayette law firm before serving 14 years on
the Tippecanoe Superior Court. She was appointed the state's 108th Supreme
Court justice by former Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2012. She is the first woman
to serve on the state Supreme Court since Myra Selby stepped down in 1999
after five years on the bench.
Tippecanoe County, Rush led a push for better and more uniform protections
for Indiana's abused and neglected children. She helped create the
county's Court Appointed Special Advocate program, implemented a juvenile
drug treatment court and initiated a 24-hour assessment center for youth.
her an "invaluable ally" in efforts to bring improved protections to
Indiana children who've suffered from "the cruelty of adults" in
announcing her appointment.
As a Supreme
Court Justice, Rush leads the Commission on Improving the Status of
Children in Indiana and the Indiana Conference for Legal Education
Opportunity. She also serves on several panels focused on juvenile
Rush was born in
Scranton, Pennsylvania, and moved to Indiana in 1976. After graduating
from Purdue University in 1980, she washed dishes and did other jobs to
work her way through the Indiana University School of Law.
In November 1998,
before her first term as a Tippecanoe County judge began, a former
juvenile client kicked in the front door of Rush's home and tried to kill
her husband. Rush hid their children and tried to get help, but she and
her husband both were injured and she later had to have surgery. The
attacker was convicted of attempted murder and burglary.