Marion County, IN (home of Indianapolis) has been the site of two major Supreme Court election-law cases, Whitcomb v. Chavis and Davis v. Bandemer. A lawsuit has now been filed asking a federal court to declare Marion County’s system of selecting judges — which is different from how the state selects judges — unconstitutional. Story from Indy Politics here.
The suit claims Marion County’s judicial selection system violates the federal and state constitutions, as well as the Voting Rights Act.
In Marion County, as well as Lake and St. Joseph, voters do not directly elect judges as in Indiana’s other counties. Instead, the candidates are selected by a Judicial Nominating Committee, and the Committee submits three names to the Governor, and the Governor appoints Marion County Superior Court judges.
Residents do vote to retain judges, however.
The suit argues if elections for Superior Court judges in Marion County were free and open, as they are in most other counties in the State, minority residents would be able to elect judges of their choice. Instead, the Governor, who is elected in a state-wide election, not solely in Marion County, chooses Superior Court judges in Marion County.
Update: I was reminded I should add Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, the voter ID case, to this list