ILNews

Committee questions Van Bokkelen at confirmation hearing

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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Northern Indiana ;s U.S. Attorney Joseph Van Bokkelen faced the U.S. Senate ;s Judiciary Committee this morning in his confirmation hearing for a federal judgeship opening in Hammond this summer.

President George W. Bush nominated Von Bokkelen to replace retiring Judge Rudy Lozano, who plans to take senior status in July.

During the hearing, Von Bokkelen and three other nominees for judgeships: Debra Ann Livingston for 2nd Circuit judge, Roslynn Renee Mauskopf for district judgeship in the Eastern District of New York, and Richard Sullivan for district judgeship in the Southern District of New York answered questions from the committee chair.

Questions ranged from background, how Von Bokkelen each would fairly consider cases that could come before the court from prosecutors he once worked with, and his views about the ongoing U.S. attorney firing controversy in regard to the proper balance between prosecutorial independence and the presidential prerogative to appoint nominees.

He also noted three judges in particular whom he ;s looked up to during his career: 7th Circuit Judge Michael Kanne, who hailed from the Northern District of Indiana; deceased Northern District Judge Phil McNagy Jr., who was a former assistant U.S. attorney; and St. Joseph Judge George Beamer, who Von Bokkelen described as being a role model and mentor in his role as prosecutor.

Von Bokkelen was recommended in November by Sen. Richard Lugar – who attended the hearing – and Von Bokkelen has since completed a questionnaire, undergone an FBI background check, and completed a question-answer session with the 19-committee members.

There is no timeline for the committee to confirm Van Bokkelen, who went through confirmation hearings for U.S. attorney after being appointed by President Bush in 2001.
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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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