(UNDATED) - Indiana's Chief Justice has decided to step down, though he will remain on the state Supreme Court.
Brent Dickson announced Wednesday that he will leave the role of Chief Justice later this year. He will continue as an associate Justice on the five-member Supreme Court until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75 in July 2016. "It has been a great joy and a privilege to have helped continue the Court's tradition of excellence--especially with four hard-working colleagues who are devoted to the law," Dickson said in a statement emailed to reporters by the Indiana Supreme Court. "I am looking forward to being able to spend most of my time in legal research, deciding cases, and writing opinions."
Dickson became Chief Justice in May 2012 after serving as Acting Chief Justice following the retirement of Randall Shepard. Dickson had previously served as an Associate Justice for 26 years - he was the 100th Justice in the state's history when he was appointed to the court in 1986. "The time is right for this transition. The Court and state will be well served when one of my colleagues is selected as the next Chief Justice."
The Judicial Nominating Commission will select a new Chief Justice for a five-year term later this year. The Commission is chaired by Dickson, includes three attorneys elected by their peers and three citizens, two appointed by Governor Pence and one appointed by former Governor Mitch Daniels. They will meet with the other Associate Justices on August 6 in a public session, then choose a chief justice in a private meeting. Dickson says he expects to step down from his leadership role sometime before September 1.
Dickson declined an interview request, saying he sees this as simply an administrative change at the top of the court.
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