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Committee action deadline nearing

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The Indiana General Assembly's influential judiciary committees have a packed week ahead where both representatives and senators will review a mass of legislation as deadline approaches.

This week, the Senate and House judiciary committees each met once to consider a handful of bills that involved everything from no-contact orders, judgments of foreign courts, grandparent visitation, and magistrates in the state's largest county.

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary approved legislation on enforcing foreign judgments and no-contact orders by courts. The House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee passed a bill Wednesday allowing for grandparent visitation, while that same day the House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that would allow Marion County to convert all of its commissioners into magistrates, saving about $2 million and allowing it to use that money for local guardian ad litem expenses. The Senate Judiciary spent its weekly meeting mostly discussing a resolution that deals with the definition of marriage, but it also approved legislation making technical corrections to Indiana Code.

But this week's action pales in comparison to what both the House and Senate committees will likely consider next week. The last day the House and Senate can hear their own bills for final passage is Feb. 3, after which legislation must switch to go through the other house's committee and approval process.

That means a busy agenda for those watching legislation that pertains specifically to the legal community. For example, the House Judiciary committee has meetings planned Monday and Tuesday to discuss issues such as out-of-state placements of juveniles and the Unauthorized Practice of Law for non-attorneys.

The Senate Corrections Criminal and Civil Matters Committee has set a meeting Tuesday during which members are expected to consider 10 bills, including sex-offender tracking, bail statutes, and enhanced murder sentences. At least one Senate Judiciary Committee meeting is also planning for next week, according to the office of committee chair Sen. Richard Bray, R-Martinsville.

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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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