INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mitch Daniels on Friday named a Tippecanoe County
judge as the first woman on the bench of the Indiana Supreme Court in 13
The appointment of Loretta Rush ends Indiana’s distinction as one of only
three states with all-male high courts, and makes Rush Indiana’s first
female justice since Myra Selby stepped down in 1999.
Rush is the third justice Daniels has appointed to the five-member court in
the past two years. She replaces Justice Frank Sullivan who stepped down
after 19 years.
Rush, 54, is a Republican who was born in Scranton, Pa., 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 judge for the county that
includes Lafayette, a 27-year-old former juvenile client kicked in the front
door of her 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
“I look at the children that find themselves in our court system and see the
long-standing toll that child abuse, neglect, and untreated mental health
can have on their adult lives,” Rush wrote in her application for the court
Only three states — Idaho, Indiana, and Iowa — currently have no women on
their court of last resort, according to the National Center for State
“As a woman, as a lawyer, and a Hoosier I am delighted that now the highest
court in the land — Indiana — will be representative of the state of
Indiana,” said Indianapolis attorney Karen Celestino-Horseman. “The three
candidates were excellent, but given that there was no woman on the court,
it was time."