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Ruling Sparks Campaign Against State Supreme Court Justice

Last updated on Thursday, May 26, 2011

(INDIANAPOLIS) - An Indiana supreme court ruling rejecting the right to resist police officers who try to enter your home has sparked a campaign to vote out the ruling’s author.

About 300 people, including former "Survivor" star Rupert Boneham, rallied outside the statehouse to denounce the ruling that it's not up to citizens to decide what constitutes lawful entry.

They're assembling mailing lists to mobilize a campaign next year when Steve David, the court's newest justice, faces a yes-or-no retention vote. No justice has been thrown out by the voters in Indiana history.

But Jeff Houk of Greenwood, who's formed a political action committee to rally voters against David, notes 35-to-40-percent of voters typically vote against retaining justices no matter what. With a controversial ruling at issue, he's optimistic about changing enough minds to force David off the bench.

The last justice to face an organized anti-retention campaign was then-Chief Justice Richard Givan, who easily beat back a challenge organized by anti-abortion activists in the 1980s. The ruling upheld the battery conviction of a Vanderburgh County man who shoved a police officer who tried to follow him into his apartment after a domestic-violence call.

Defendant Richard Barnes' lawyer has said he'll ask the court to reconsider. If that happens, Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he'll urge the court to uphold the conviction on narrower grounds -- he says the ruling went beyond what his office argued in court.

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