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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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