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First Impressions
Jennifer Mehalik
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1 million ‘yes’ votes

Jennifer Mehalik
November 12, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court announced today that more than one million people voted to retain the three justices up for retention this year. That’s the first time that many people have voted “yes” to keep a justice in office. I wonder...
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SCOTUS hears testimonial case

Jennifer Mehalik
November 10, 2008
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The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today involving an issue that is currently before our state’s high court: whether lab reports are considered testimonial evidence. SCOTUS heard arguments in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts , about whether a state forensic analyst’s laboratory’s report...
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Should judge be removed?

Jennifer Mehalik
November 7, 2008
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The masters presiding over the case of Marion Superior Judge Grant Hawkins released their report today recommending to the Indiana Supreme Court that he be removed from the bench. Hawkins was charged by the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission with 11 counts...
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Talk of reform and recusal

Jennifer Mehalik
November 5, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins: Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard took some time Wednesday following Election Day to talk with about 60 people about local government reform. He spoke at the North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis about his work...
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No alcohol until 6 p.m.

Jennifer Mehalik
November 4, 2008
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I expected a long wait to vote at my precinct today. I brought my iPod, wore comfortable shoes, and prepared to wait in line for an hour or more. When at 7 a.m. I pulled up to the church where I...
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Pre-election appeals

Jennifer Mehalik
November 3, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins: Election Day is less than 24 hours away, but that isn’t stopping the litigation and court filings. An emergency appeal is happening with the Indianapolis ruling that came from Marion Circuit Judge Ted Sosin late Friday,...
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Misconduct complaint on AG ad

Jennifer Mehalik
October 31, 2008
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With all the political ads showing on TV right now, it’s easy for us to tune them out. But one recent ad from the camp of Republican candidate for Attorney General Greg Zoeller has upset one Indianapolis criminal defense attorney so...
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What about the votes?

Jennifer Mehalik
October 30, 2008
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The Indiana Court of Appeals is hearing arguments today in the Lake County early-voting satellite locations case, and as of this blog posting, hasn’t ruled on the issue. It’s up in the air right now how the court may rule, but...
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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