2016-10-25 / Front Page

Ballot questions include appeals judge retention, state constitution

Staff Report

Indiana voters will find three questions posed on the 2016 General Election ballot, two related to the retention of two U.S. District Courts of Appeals and a ratification of an amendment to the Indiana State Constitution.

Appellate court judges face an approval vote of registered voters in the first general election, following at least two years after an appointment, and every 10 years thereafter.

In the First District, Judge Edward W. Najam, Jr., of Bloomington, was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Evan Bayh in 1992, and was retained by the Indiana electorate in 1996 and 2006. Judge Najam has authored more than 3,400 majority opinions for the Court of Appeals. Judge Najam served 10 years as a member of the Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Produced and the Indiana Rules of Evidence.

In the Fourth District, Judge Patricia A. Riley, of Rensselaer, was also appointed to the Court of Appeals of Indiana by Governor Evan Bayh in 1994. She served as a deputy prosecutor in Marion County and a public defender in Marion and Jasper counties. She was retained by the state’s electorate in 1996 and 2006.

Hoosier voters will also answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to adding a Section 39 to Article I of the Indiana Constitution, “to provide that the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife shall be forever preserved for the public good, subject only to the laws prescribed by the General Assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the General Assembly to: (1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and (2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing.”

Opponents of the proposed constitutional amendment argue the Indiana Department of Natural Resources regulates hunting, fishing and trapping of wildlife, without assistance from the Indiana General Assembly. Such an amendment would provide further oversight to Indiana’s state representatives and senators.

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