Joel Schumm

How the gay marriage case will play out in the Appeals Court

August 25th, 2014 at 1:27 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the Indiana gay marriage case in a Chicago courtroom Tuesday morning beginning at 10:30 Indianapolis time.

There will be 20 minutes set aside for attorneys for same sex couples and another 20 minutes for the state.  Solicitor General Thomas Fisher will make those arguments.

Then, both sides in a Wisconsin case will get the same opportunity.

A 3 judge panel that will be drawn from the 10 judges in the 7th Circuit will decide the case.  7 of them were appointed by Republican Presidents, 3 by Democrats.

Professor Joel Schumm of the I.U. McKinney School of Law says we won’t know the identity of the panel members until 10 a.m.

“If all three of the judges are appointed by Democratic Presidents then the same sex couples should feel really confident.” he said.  “If it’s not, if it’s a mix.  I don’t think that”s going to necessarily determine the outcome.”

That’s because in other appeals judges appointed by Democrats have always ruled in favor of same sex marriages and those appointed by Republicans have split.

In the cases in other parts of the country it has taken about 2 and a half months to get a ruling.

“I suspect this’ll be faster than that because the 7th Circuit’s expedited the cases,” says Schumm.  “They’ve shortened the time for briefs to be filed.  They’ve made it clear that they want to decide this pretty quickly, so I’d look for it within a few weeks.”

If you want to listen in you can do so at

No matter what happens look for the case to go to the Supreme Court and the ruling to be stayed in the meantime.

Terry Curry defends his record on ethical issues

July 21st, 2014 at 5:08 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry is up for re-election in November and he’s now under fire for what a law school professor calls ethical problems in his office.

But there are two sides to the story.

Terry Curry is a high profile public official seen in public on a regular basis.  Deputy prosecutors who work in out of the way courtrooms have been accused of improper conduct on 22 occasions in the last 2 and a half years.

“That seems pretty darned frequent, said Curry’s GOP opponent, Duane Merchant, who is using the charges as a campaign issue.

“He’s responsible,” said Merchant of Curry. “It’s his name over the door all the letterhead is on him.  What it comes down to is he’s responsible for everything.”

But Merchant is relying on research done by Professor Joel Schumm of the IU McKinney School of Law.

“I think that’s troubling,” said Schrumm, “in terms of what’s happening in that office and it also has a potential that those cases could be reversed.”

Yet the two cases that were reversed include one where the State Supreme Court reinstated the conviction and the other is yet to be considered by the Supreme Court.

Curry is proud to defend his record during the time period in question.

“We would’ve filed over 100,000 cases, appeals were taken in at least 550 and ultimately,” he said, “there’s not going to be a single case in which a judgement or conviction was reversed because of improper conduct by our office.”

And Duane Merchant says he will concentrate on other issues as the campaign goes forward.