Time to mention this again. --As one blogger, there's not a lot I can do to see that Justice Steven H. David is sent to "explore other opportunities;" but I'll do what I can.
His reading of one of the most basic civil rights is deeply flawed: he believes you shouldn't have the right to resist if police enter your home illegally. This flies in the face of common law and judicial decisions going back long before the United States even existed. As a practical matter, the Supreme Court of Indiana's decision is insane: most forcible police entries, especially "no-knock" warrants, are indistinguishable from a home invasion. Should Officer Friendly happen to get a wrong address or a bad tip and kick in your door, and you were to respond by picking up so much as a baseball bat, Justice David would have you facing criminal charges for it. (To say nothing of what the SWAT team Officer F is playing lead for might do.) After all, he reasons from his comfortable home and nice, regular State paycheck, you can always sue 'em right back -- forgetting that initiating a lawsuit is a lot easier if you're already an attorney and/or well off. (Pop quiz: most police entries occur in A) well-off neighborhoods filled with lawyers and Pillars Of The Community or B) neighborhoods like mine, where people are not so well-off. Class...?)
For me, that alone would be enough to want him off the Court. But just like in the Veggie-Matic ads, Wait! There's more!
It turns out he's a great big booster of the "Missouri Plan" for picking judges,* which in Indiana's version gives lawyers way too much influence on who gets nominated: a seven-member panel, three citizens appointed by the Governor, three attorneys elected by the Indiana Bar Association (a private organization; it will not shock you to learn they want to keep every judge up for a retention vote) and presiding, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Indiana, the kind of tie-breaker most of us plain citizens are liable to defer to. This lot picks three (3) nominees and the Governor gets two months to either pick one or the list goes right back to the Chief Justice, who then gets to choose. It's all very cozy and insiderish. I'm not saying it's any better than the popular elections the state used from 1851 to 1971, or having the Governor appoint them for six-year terms subject to confirmation by the state Senate as Indiana did from 1816 until 1851, but maybe it's time to take yet another look, 'cos they have merely gone from being lackeys of their party to lackeys of the unbridled exercise of government power and that's not an improvement.
And the last thing we need is a Justice hip-deep in keeping that status quo way quo.
When the ballot asks you, "Shall Justice Steven H. David be retained?" I recommend voting NO.
* And politically liberal according to the linked story, which surprises me; I really thought one could at least count on that side of the aisle being against the police wandering into your home on a whim. But jackboots are made for both feet and any more, positions you think you can depend on either side holding are not necessarily so.
7 months ago