Southern District judiciary comes together at ‘historic’ event to thank Lugar, Bayh

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Judges and judicial officers from the U.S. District Court for Southern District of Indiana came together recently to honor Sen. Richard Lugar and former Sen. Evan Bayh for their service to the federal judiciary.

The pair was recognized during a special luncheon Oct. 18 in the William E. Steckler Ceremonial Courtroom at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. Chief Judge Richard Young called the event historic because, for the first time, all the current Article III judges from the Southern District, as well as the bankruptcy and magistrate judges and 7th Circuit Judge John Daniel Tinder were present with the two senators.

“We wanted to bring them to the courthouse to thank them for their support of the Southern District and the judiciary over the years,” Young said.

Lugar, a Republican, has served in the U.S. Senate since 1976 and will leave the Senate at the end this term. Bayh, a Democrat, retired in 2011 after two terms.

The judiciary thanked the senators for their effort to work together to nominate Article III judges in the Southern District. During the years between 1999 and 2011 when their terms overlapped, Lugar and Bayh always consulted with each other on the judicial nominations, even though they were not obligated to do so, before submitting any names to the president for consideration.

SenatorLunch-15col.jpg Judges and judicial officers from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana held a special luncheon Oct. 18 to honor Sen. Richard Lugar and former Sen. Evan Bayh. Pictured are: (front row, left to right) Sen. Evan Bayh, Chief Judge Richard L. Young, Sen. Dick Lugar, Judge Tanya M. Walton Pratt; (second row, left to right) Senior Judge Larry J. McKinney, Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson, Judge Sarah Evans Barker, Judge William T. Lawrence, 7th Circuit Judge John Daniel Tinder; (third row, left to right): Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore, Magistrate Judge Craig M. McKee, Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker, Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch, Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue; and (back row, left to right): Bankruptcy Judge Anthony J. Metz III, Bankruptcy Judge Frank J. Otte, Chief Bankruptcy Judge James K. Coachys (Photo submitted)

They had a “pretty special relationship together when it came to nominating federal judges,” Young said.

These two men reached across party lines to uphold their responsibility and ensure the citizens had a full court, Young said. Their actions also helped make the confirmation process smoother since the collaboration of two senators from opposite sides of the aisle sent a message to other U.S. senators.

Consequently, vacancies on the federal benches in Indiana were filled quickly, which enabled the court to function without judges having to crowd their schedules with the cases spilling over from the vacant court and without Hoosiers having to wait longer for their cases to be heard.  

At the luncheon, Lugar and Bayh were each presented with a copy of the book, “Federal Justice in Indiana: The History of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana,” by George Geib and Don Kite. Then the two senators made informal remarks.

The luncheon was “very special and one that will be hard to forget,” Young said.



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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.