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Crown Point lawyer leaving for Peace Corps

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On Sept. 19, attorney Connie Postelli will leave legal practice behind and depart for a two-year stint in the Peace Corps. Postelli will be teaching English in Ukraine. But she knows little else about her trip.

“People ask me if I’m scared, and I tell them I don’t have enough information to be scared yet,” she said.

Last year, Postelli met a woman who was in her 60s and had just served with the Peace Corps in Albania for two years. “She had suddenly realized that with her life, she was just collecting stuff.” And Postelli began to think about how she, too, could take her life in a different direction.

“She and I talked for a while, and I thought: wow, this sounds good,” Postelli said.

Postelli began the 15-month application process last year, which included a 27-page application and 14-page health questionnaire. The Peace Corps requires that any health problems or concerns be thoroughly checked out before approving an applicant. Postelli, who turned 56 in April, said a series of medical tests and evaluations – along with a mental health assessment – took about four months to complete. Postelli said a few of her friends “were glad I had my head examined – and were surprised that I passed.”

Initially, Postelli was supposed to be heading to Turkmenistan, so she had been preparing to live in an arid climate where the Muslim culture required modest – yet cool – clothing. But in August, Turkmenistan withdrew its request for Peace Corps volunteers, and Postelli was reassigned to Ukraine.

She will spend 27 months there, the first three of which will be devoted to training, including 4.5 hours of language training every day. After 10 weeks, she’ll have to pass a language test, or she may be sent home. And she will live with a host family who speaks no English and will not have electricity, running water, or Internet access.

At the beginning of this year, Postelli merged her solo practice with another firm, so her clients would be taken care of. Since then, she’s been preparing for her trip and teaching English as a second language at her local library.

Postelli said her friends and family have been supportive of her decision.

“Most of them aren’t even surprised, because I’ve always had this personality that needs to save things,” she said.

Postelli said that until training is complete, she will not be permitted to receive any packages. And she is allowed to bring with her two suitcases, weighing no more than 100 pounds combined.

“I’m going to spend my weekend packing my suitcases and weighing them repeatedly,” she said.

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

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  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

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