A lawsuit challenging how Marion County judges are elected will move forward in federal court in Indianapolis. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Richard L. Young last week denied the state’s request for an immediate appeal of an order refusing to dismiss the lawsuit. It is unclear, however, if the case will be resolved before next year’s judicial elections in Marion County. The lawsuit, filed in November 2012, challenges a state law that essentially allows political parties, rather than voters in a general election, to determine who is selected as a Superior Court judge in Marion County.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Common Cause Indiana, a nonprofit that works to protect voters rights.
The lawsuit argues that the law leaves most voters out of the election process, evoking images of cigar-chomping party bosses making unilateral choices in smoke-filled back rooms.
Ken Falk, the ACLU’s legal director, said he is unaware of any similar election system anywhere in the U.S.