Rucker retires after 26 years on appellate bench

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The Indiana Lawyer on 05/17/2017 by Olivia Covington

Ask a member of the Indiana judiciary to describe former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker, and you’ll get answers such as “empathetic” or “compassionate.” And those who sat on either side of Rucker during his nearly 18 years on the state’s highest bench say the now-retired justice never let his sense of humanity outweigh the rule of law.

In fact, fellow former Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. said one of the qualities he most admired in Rucker was his ability to follow where the law took him, regardless of his personal feelings toward a case. But now, after a quarter-century career of striving to place justice above ideology, the longtime jurist has left the stat Supreme Court.

Rucker retired from the court May 12, after serving as one of the five final arbiters in Indiana’s legal system since 1999. His appellate career, which began with a seat on the Indiana Court of Appeals in 1991, included work with 23 Court of Appeals judges and eight justices, as well as authorship of roughly 1,250 majority opinions.