Celebrating Women's History

1st woman on Indiana Supreme Court reflects on career

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — America is on the edge of making history.

A Black woman for the first time could be named to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Indiana is ahead of the game when it comes to making that kind of history. Myra Selby was appointed to the state’s highest court in 1995.

Many people who’ve made history will say that wasn’t part of the plan they laid out for themselves. Instead, they say it just happened. But, Selby, looking at her career, gives credit to her parents, who never set limitations on achievement, and women educators who guided her along the way.

“It’s not really anything that I made,” Selby said.

But, history was in fact made when she was named judge to Indiana’s highest court, the first woman and the first Black woman.

“My passion has always been about fairness.”

Becoming an attorney and judge, she said, allowed her to fulfill her passions. She’s still pursing them as an Ice Miller law firm partner focusing of diversity, equity and inclusion.

“It’s very important work. It’s work that will not have a beginning and an endpoint. It will be a journey,”

While Selby was in college, the women’s movement reached its height, giving her a front seat to women stepping into new roles and making a difference, further proving just how possible it is to aim and hit something great.

“My mom and dad never put limitations on what I could aspire to be, or what I could achieve.”

As for what the future holds with a Black woman potentially sitting on the nation’s highest court, Selby said, many qualified judges are able to fill the spot. She says representation matters, and now is the time to move forward, not just for the country, but also for young girls who will be what she can see.

“It’s really important right now, because right now there is a young girl who wants to be a lawyer or a judge, or a judicial officer of some type, and she needs to see that the pathway is clear for her, and that opportunity is real.”