Marion County’s judicial employees are being told they can no longer engage in political activity.

A new law  that now calls for the appointment of Marion County judges instead of their election has also had the impact of prohibiting their staff (clerks, court reporters, bailiffs and probation officers) from engaging in political activity.

Under Indiana’s judicial rules, judges are “prohibited from any political activity – attending meetings, contributing financially, holding political positions, etc.”    Also, “an appointed judge in an office filled by retention election must require nonjudicial court employees to abide by the same standards of political conduct which bind the judge.” In addition,  “a judge in an office filled by partisan or nonpartisan election must not permit nonjudicial court employees to run for or hold nonjudicial partisan elective office or to hold office in a political party’s central committee.

A notice from the Court Administrator issued Friday says these rules also applies to the staff.  An estimated 640 court employees are affected by the policy.

Since judicial appointments take place in 2018 and 2020, there had been some discussion as to when the rule should be applied and to which staff as some work for multiple judges, however, Indy Politics is told a decision was made to err on the side of caution and let all court staff know they had to cease any political activity immediately.

We are also told reaction has been mixed. However, most employees are relieved they will not have to engage in any political activity.