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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. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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