Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Attendance: 88

Invocation: Rick Swaim

Greeters: Jim Reeve, Art Gakstatter

Guests: Jason Matthews (Trace Hansen), Judge Michael Reed, Lynn Wilkey (Joe Wilkey)

Birthdays: Bart Templeton, Troy Tom, Stu Wysong, Jim Hayes, Rick Swaim, Larry Tucker

Announcements: 1) Jeff Owens is encouraging mentoring for the Oratorical Contest, which will be Friday March 22, 2019 at 7 pm in the Courthouse. The topic is “Is there a fine line between optimism and reality?”  2) Daren Maierle said they still need Santas Helpers for Santa House. 3) Pam Galloway needs help staffing slots for the Bell Ringing for Salvation Army. On Dec 15 (Saturday) our Club is covering K-Mart (indoors) and the north and south entrances of Walmart (outdoors) from 9 am to 5 pm. Shifts are one hour long. Shift coverage is still needed at the north side of Walmart, 11 am-noon, 2-3 pm and 3-4 pm, and the south side of Walmart, 2-3 and 3-4 pm. Please contact Pam if you are able to help. Sign up sheets will be out next week. 4) Rob Bishop read a thank you note from the Girl Scouts of NE Indiana, for the Club’s support of their STEM lab. He also passed around a plaque from the 2018 Kosciusko County soccer league.

50/50(Frank Grose): Doug Blatz won won!

Membership (Rick Kerlin) : Jason Matthews (Trace Hansen) had his second reading.

Induction: None

Sergeant’s: Paul Heaton, Brittany Lyon and Mitch Goon entertained us. Craig Allebach got fined for dropping the ball with the pink flamingo from the white elephant sale, Travis McConnell for saying that law schools take the “cream of the crop” (the rest of us are chopped liver??), Trace Hansen for sponsoring Jason Matthews. Luke Becknell had a happy dollar for his 5th anniversary and David Taylor for law enforcement.

Program: Former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan (currently teaching at IU School of Law) was our speaker. Judge Sullivan was on the Indiana Supreme Court for 19 years, and spoke about judging in the 21st century. He brought up JFK’s book Profiles in Courage, as an example of brave legislators who voted against the will of the people.  This led into a discussion of the impartiality of judges. He gave the example of  Judge Horton in Alabama in 1933, in a retrial of the Scotsboro boys. The judge dismissed the jury’s death sentence, then was defeated in the next election. This raises the question: “What do you want from the judge?” Impartiality is key. Decisions should be made solely on the law and prudent facts. Judge Sullivan discussed several threats to impartiality, including inadequate resources, judges expressing opinions while campaigning and special interest groups getting involved in state supreme court races. He said fortunately in Indiana we don’t have a record of attacking supreme court decisions. He said appellate judges are nominated and  once selected undergo an up or down retention vote, but are not subjected to special interest “gun slingers.” He said the last seven governors have been friends of the judiciary. He said while on the SC there were of Democrat versus Republican cases, but these were never decided along party lines (that is, Republican appointee to the Court vs. Democrat appointee). He said the U.S. Supreme Court isn’t obligated to take cases unless it is a conflict between two states (e.g. boundary lines). He said the Indiana SC is required to take cases involving a death penalty or life without parole sentence, or when something is declared unconstitutional. He said family related cases are more explosive than criminal. He said the State Troopers have always been helpful when it comes to personal safety issues. To get on the Indiana SC, there is a process involving the Judicial Nominating Committee, composed of three lawyers and three lay people. A geographic distribution of the members is required. The names of the three most qualified are sent to the Governor who then makes the selection.

Next Monday Dec 10 is the Board Meeting, 5:30 pm at the Chamber.