Indiana’s longest-serving Supreme Court Justice has officially announced his retirement. Robert Rucker, who was appointed to the high court in 1999 by then-Governor Frank O’Bannon, will step down this spring after 26 years on the bench.
Rucker’s retirement was first mentioned Wednesday during Chief Justice Loretta Rush’s State of the Judiciary address. Rucker is Indiana’s 105th Supreme Court justice and though a specific retirement date has not been announced, he will hear one of his final arguments March 9 when the court travels to his alma mater, Gary Roosevelt High School.
"Justice Rucker’s contributions to Indiana’s jurisprudence are remarkable," said Rush. "His legal scholarship is innovative and insightful in applying constitutional values. His body of work stands as a powerful illustration of the guidance courts provide for the peaceful resolution of disputes encompassing nearly every facet of Hoosier life."
The Judicial Nominating Commission is currently accepting applications for Rucker’s successor. The deadline for applications is March 3. The commission will select three finalists and Governor Eric Holcomb will ultimately choose the state’s next Supreme Court justice.
Prior to being appointed to the Supreme Court, Rucker served on the Indiana Court of Appeals. He was the first African-American to serve on an Indiana appellate court. During his career, he has authored 1,235 civil and criminal opinions.
In addition to his legal career, Rucker is a veteran of the Vietnam War and a recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.