Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt has just received confirmation from the U.S. Senate, meaning she'll become the
state's first African-American federal judge and one of four female jurists on Indiana's federal bench.
Senators voted 95-0 at 12 p.m. to confirm her nomination for an Article III judgeship in the Southern District of Indiana. She replaces Judge David F. Hamilton, who moved up to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last year.
Judge Pratt will begin once the president signs her commission, and as a result the process now starts for Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to appoint a successor to the Marion Superior bench.
"This process has been a test of patience, but I'm so very happy and honored," Judge Pratt said moments after the vote, which she watched online from her office in the City-County Building. "I do respect the historic significance of being the first African-American in the state to join the federal bench, and that's really a credit to Sen. (Evan) Bayh for looking outside the traditional group of candidates to be inclusive."
This story will be updated in today's Indiana Lawyer daily.