Judge Nancy H. Vaidik is a judge on the Fifth District Court of Appeals. As far as I can tell, the question of her retention is statewide on all Indiana ballots. She was appointed by Governor Frank O’Bannon in 2000, and retained by voters in 2002. Since I am only concerned with her retention as a citizen of Wabash County, I only considered her retention by her rulings on case logs that applied to residents of Wabash County.
Of the 19 cases that she ruled on, I only found one that I was in complete disagreement on. In the case of the State of Indiana v. Robert Sherman, Jr., she reversed a post-conviction court ruling that the lawyer of Sherman’s case, Robert Dawalt, was ineffective counsel for arguing against reasonable suspicion used by Indiana State Police officers in seizure of trash to obtain a search warrant of his property. The circumstances of the reversal was that a case that redefined the necessary suspicion that was used by the ISP had not been decided until a later date than the post-conviction trial wasn’t necessarily the reason for my objection to the reversal, it was the the initial actions by the ISP officers to obtain the search warrant that I am opposed to.
During an ISP investigation for the eradication of marijuana, Sherman became a target by association of another individual who had purchased items from a marijuana magazine. Sherman, himself, was not the purchaser from the magazine, only the associate. Does that seem like a justifiable reason to search a U.S. citizens trash? Regardless, Sherman’s trash yielded adequate materials to obtain a search warrant, and a conviction of possesion of marijuana was handed out with a two-year sentence to prison.
Vaidik, as a judge, has the responsibility to both the Indiana and U.S. Constitutions to nullify on the grounds of unreasonable searches and seizures. She failed to perform her duty as vowed by her Oath of Office, and therefore, should not be retained. It is in my opinion that the citizens of Indiana should overturn her appointment by voting “no” the the proposed measure.