Gov. Mitch Daniels has had two chances to name a woman to the Indiana Supreme Court, and he declined both times. Now he has a third chance, and there is a spirited debate about the appropriateness of having an all-male court of last resort. That’s a fine discussion to have, and there are good arguments on both sides.
We’ve had only one woman on the court in state history – Myra Selby – and she stepped down in 1999 after only five years. Only two other states – Idaho and Iowa – have femaleless high courts. If Daniels chose Tippecanoe County Judge Loretta Rush over the two male finalists, it would rectify an embarrassment.
On the other hand, doesn’t the governor have an obligation to choose the most qualified candidate based on experience, philosophy and judicial temperament, period?
Conventional political wisdom says a Democrat has to sound hardcore liberal during a primary, and a Republican needs to be a no-compromise conservative, the point being to get the party bases fired up. But during the general election, both candidates must run back to the middle so as not to alienate that great mass of voters known as “moderates.”
But GOP U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock doesn’t seem willing to play that game, exhibiting a loyalty to conservative principles that is annoying to some and unfathomable to others. “What is emerging in late summer is Mourdock is still playing to his tea party base and not making inroads with voters who don’t buy into parts of his candidacy against the debt ceiling and allowing the U.S. to go into default,” says Brian Howey, sounding both annoyed and perplexed.
With a single bold move – adding Paul Ryan as the vice presidential pick for the Republican ticket – Mitt Romney has guaranteed a national election campaign more substantive than any in a generation. Even if Romney loses, Americans owe him gratitude for putting a spotlight on real issues instead of joining in the sound-bite campaign.
Ryan’s selection has only increased the sound bites coming from the other side. We have already seen personal attacks just short of character assassination and shrill distortions of his proposals on Medicare and other issues just short of outright lies.
But he has the advantage of being a smart, intelligent and very likable candidate. He should be able to effectively explain his real positions, which should make the assaults against him seem ever uglier and mean-spirited.
This is an idea so simple, effectively addressing such an obvious need, that once it has been adopted we all wonder what took so long:
Domestic abuse victims in Indiana may now apply for wallet-size cards intended to help police take action against abusers who violate court orders.
Someone with a court order can legally keep their abusers away, of course, and they are entitled to police help in getting the job done. But people don’t always have their papers with them. And situations needing police intervention often are explosive and fast-developing.
Victims who don’t want to be victims again need a way to quickly communicate the situation to officers.
The free Hope Cards take care of that need, and in a wonderfully low-tech way.
The point of Indiana’s charter schools experiment is just that – experimentation. Though they are public schools, charters don’t have to follow all the usual rules imposed on the rest of those institutions. That leaves them freer to innovate and explore different and possibly better ways to educate.
Sometimes the innovations are subtle enough to not be immediately obvious, involving subject matter or teaching techniques. Sometimes they’re a little more obvious, such as the unique scheduling at Imagine on Broadway, this area’s only year-round school.
Then there is SAFE, the Smith Academy for Excellence, opening its doors for the first time Aug. 13 with 68 students in grades 6 through 9, all boys. That is absolutely, positively something you would never see in a regular public school.