Justice Faces Challenge To Position On State's High Court

By Jeff Neumeyer

October 3, 2012 Updated Oct 3, 2012 at 5:52 PM EDT

INDIANA, (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Critics of one Indiana Supreme Court Justice are trying to convince Hoosier voters to throw Justice Steven David off the high court in the November election.

It appears as though Justice David is being targeted for his stance in one high profile ruling.

That ruling came in a criminal case in southern Indiana, where a husband got sideways with police who came to his home to deal with a domestic battery complaint.

Justice Steven David has served two years on the state supreme court, and by law, he is subject to a retention vote on the November ballot.

Critics want to oust him, mainly because he wrote the majority opinion in "Barnes versus the State of Indiana".

Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker, also up for retention, took the opposite view in the Barnes ruling.

Steven David held that the notion "Your home is your castle" is not a proper defense to the crime of battery or other violent acts on a police officer, adding that promoting safety trumps homeowner rights in such situations.

" Immediately people starting saying this violates the U.S. Constitution, and it violates the Indiana Constitution, and that got a lot of people riled up,” said Andy Downs, with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, which is headquartered on the IPFW campus.

“ We'll have an opportunity after the election, if we see a huge difference in the result, one of the factors we can point to probably is this decision, as something that played into it,” said Downs.

Downs was referring to the retention vote totals for Justice David and Justice Rucker, who again, were on opposite sides of the issue in the Barnes ruling.

Downs says if Justice David’s support were significantly below that of Justice Rucker, it would be reasonable to say the campaign against David got some traction.

Still, it’s highly unlikely that either will be ousted in the November retention vote.

Since that concept was enacted around 1970, not a single state Supreme Court Justice has been thrown off the high court.

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