For the first time, judges from the Marion Superior Court are on the ballot for retention in November’s general election. Following interviews that assessed their qualifications and performance, the Superior Court judges on the ballot were unanimously recommended to be retained following interviews by the Marion County Judicial Selection Commission in March 2018. The Indianapolis Bar Association commends the commission for its efforts and recommends its work to Marion County voters.
This retention process is a result of House Enrolled Act 1036, which mandated the creation of the 14-member Marion County Judicial Selection Commission (MCJSC). The commission is responsible for interviewing judicial candidates and providing recommendations to the governor, as well as making recommendations as to whether judges should be retained.
Chaired by Indiana Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa, the MCJSC interviewed the 17 incumbent trial court judges in retention class I whose terms expire in 2018. Sixteen additional judges in Marion Superior Court have terms that end in 2020 and will be part of retention class II. These 20-minute interviews were open to the public and took place on March 12 and 13, 2018. Following the interviews, all judges on the November 2018 ballot were recommended to be retained in office.
Judges seeking retention are: Judge John Chavis, Judge Alicia A. Gooden, Judge Grant W. Hawkins, Judge Heather Welch, Judge John F. Hanley, Judge Jose Salinas, Judge Steven R. Eichholtz, Judge Amy M. Jones, Judge Clark Rogers, Judge Helen Marchal, Judge James A. Joven, Judge Linda E. Brown, Judge Lisa F. Borges, Judge Mark D. Stoner, Judge Sheila A. Carlisle, Judge William (Bill) Nelson, and Judge Clayton Graham.
The commission, whose makeup is legislatively mandated, was created to represent a diverse array of perspectives and positions in order to properly evaluate judicial candidates and incumbents. Those serving include lawyers and non-lawyers and were appointed by a variety of organizations and stakeholder groups.