judicial retention

Indiana Judicial Retention 2012

Several Indiana judges are on the 2012 general election ballot for retention votes.  Below is summary information for each judicial retention candidate for your review prior to casting your vote.










Judge John G. Baker
Indiana Circuit Court, Fifth District

Ruling in 1982 allowed Baby Doe to be starved to death in a Bloomington Hospital.

On April 9, 1982, a little boy with Down syndrome was born in Indiana’s Bloomington Hospital. It was determined that he also had a badly formed and blocked esophagus. However, this presented only a minor danger to the child’s life, because a simple surgery could be performed to allow him to swallow again with no trouble. The baby’s pediatrician urged immediate surgery, but the parents were advised by their obstetrician not to authorize the surgery.

Attorneys for the baby tried to compel physicians to perform the lifesaving surgery. They also petitioned the Indiana Supreme Court, which refused the lawyer’s emergency petition.

On April 12, Judge John G. Baker of the Monroe County Circuit Court held that the parents “… have the right to choose a medically recommended course of treatment for their child in the present circumstances.”

Dr. Walter Owens, an obstetrician, testified during the trial that:

“I insisted upon telling the parents that this still would not be a normal child … that they did have another alternative, which was to do nothing. In which case, the child [would] probably live only a matter of several days … some of these children [born with Down syndrome] are mere blobs.

The baby, meanwhile, lay in a corner, his terrible thirst unslaked by even his saliva, which had dried up in his mouth days ago. According to testimony, he cried for five days before he dehydrated to the point where all he could do was lie in his bed and stare at the ceiling (his tears having long since dried up so he could not even blink).

A team of pediatricians finally could stand the horror no longer and went to his side to administer treatment. But, as one of the physicians later wrote, “Baby Doe’s shrunken, thin little body with dry cyanotic skin, extremely dehydrated, breathing shallowly and irregularly, lay passively on fresh hospital linens. Death by starvation was near. Too late for fluids. Too late for surgery. Too late for justice.”

Baby Doe died in agony after just twelve days on this hostile earth. Although more than 300 couples had pleaded to adopt him, care for him, love him, and pay for his surgery, the Indiana court system found that the parent’s right to privacy overrode any other consideration and the ultimate price for this precious privacy was paid for in full by twelve days of excruciating agony, suffered by a tiny, innocent newborn.










Justice Robert D. Rucker
Indiana Supreme Court

Appointed by: Gov. Frank O’Bannon

Supported the expansion of Medicaid funding for abortion in Indiana in Humphreys v. Planned Parenthood (2003) See  http://caselaw.findlaw.com/in-supreme-court/1491681.html

Upheld Indiana’s 18-hour waiting period prior to an abortion in in Clinic for Women v. Brizzi (2005) See  http://caselaw.findlaw.com/in-supreme-court/1055147.html









Justice Steven David
Indiana Supreme Court

Appointed by: Gov. Mitch Daniels

Indiana Right to Life has no knowledge of any abortion-related rulings to date.










Judge Nancy H. Vaidik
Court of Appeals of Indiana, Fifth District

Ruled that Indiana cannot require the signature of both parents in order for a minor daughter to have an abortion.  (2003)  S.H., Appellant-Petitioner, v. D.H., Appellee-Respondent.  See http://caselaw.findlaw.com/in-court-of-appeals/1479211.html











Judge Paul D. Mathias
Court of Appeals of Indiana, Third District

Indiana Right to Life has no knowledge of any abortion-related rulings to date.











Judge Michael P. Barnes
Court of Appeals of Indiana, Third District

Indiana Right to Life has no knowledge of any abortion-related rulings to date.


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