Editorial: Losing sight of the goal

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Indiana Lawyer Editorial

Feb. 25 was certainly an ugly day.

All talk about the weather aside, we had what we thought was a modest bit of hope that President Barack Obama's health-care summit might inspire the people we've sent to the United States Senate and House of Representatives to do the jobs we sent them to Washington, D.C., to do on our behalf.

But of course that didn't happen.

Politicians of every stripe seemed incapable of resisting the cameras and posturing for the benefit of their re-election campaigns. The president lectured like a stern professor astonished at the thickheadedness of his students.

Such a display made Sen. Evan Bayh's decision to not seek another term seem like the most sane decision anyone in his shoes could make.

We say this not to bring Sen. Richard Lugar's sensibilities into question. We greatly admire his work on behalf of Indiana and believe he is one of the few examples of someone capable of working in a bipartisan manner in the entire Congress.

Perhaps he could give the senators in the state immediately to our South a lesson in working well with others. One of that state's senators, a gentleman who is not seeking re-election, was at Indiana Lawyer press time single-handedly holding up the extension of unemployment benefits for about 400,000 people set to expire Feb. 28. We understand that this senator's point is that the federal government does not have a way to pay for this benefit, but we're certain that most of the people who are receiving the benefits don't have another means keeping food on the table or the roof over their heads. The fact that this gentleman is the lone holdout on the measure, and is being lectured about his stubbornness by members of his own party, is telling.

We know how strongly you feel about the current lack of civil discourse and inability of people of differing political factions to work together. Such a lack of civility isn't merely exemplified in our government; you can find it everywhere in everyday life in some of the most needless circumstances. Many of you have shared with us your exasperation over this development. Some of you are concerned with the current examples of extreme partisanship and the lessons our children are learning from it. Because it's our children who are going to suffer the most from this stagnate mess we're in politically.

Perhaps you have a friend like ours; a friend so far on the other side of the political spectrum from us that we sometimes marvel at the fact that we are such dear friends. This friend says this of our political differences: we both want the same thing, we just differ in how we think the country should go about getting to the desired end. It's not about winning, the friend says; it's about achieving the goal.

That's the troubling thing about the current state politics: it's only about winning.


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  1. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

  2. Here is an interesting 2012 law review article for any who wish to dive deeper into this subject matter: Excerpt: "Judicial interpretation of the ADA has extended public entity liability to licensing agencies in the licensure and certification of attorneys.49 State bar examiners have the authority to conduct fitness investigations for the purpose of determining whether an applicant is a direct threat to the public.50 A “direct threat” is defined as “a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided by § 35.139.”51 However, bar examiners may not utilize generalizations or stereotypes about the applicant’s disability in concluding that an applicant is a direct threat.52"

  3. We have been on the waiting list since 2009, i was notified almost 4 months ago that we were going to start receiving payments and we still have received nothing. Every time I call I'm told I just have to wait it's in the lawyers hands. Is everyone else still waiting?

  4. I hope you dont mind but to answer my question. What amendment does this case pretain to?

  5. Research by William J Federer Chief Justice John Marshall commented May 9, 1833, on the pamphlet The Relation of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States written by Rev. Jasper Adams, President of the College of Charleston, South Carolina (The Papers of John Marshall, ed. Charles Hobson, Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2006, p, 278): "Reverend Sir, I am much indebted to you for the copy of your valuable sermon on the relation of Christianity to civil government preached before the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Charleston, on the 13th of February last. I have read it with great attention and advantage. The documents annexed to the sermon certainly go far in sustaining the proposition which it is your purpose to establish. One great object of the colonial charters was avowedly the propagation of the Christian faith. Means have been employed to accomplish this object, and those means have been used by government..." John Marshall continued: "No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion to the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. It has at all times employed his most serious meditation, and had a decided influence on his conduct. The American population is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it. Legislation on the subject is admitted to require great delicacy, because freedom of conscience and respect for our religion both claim our most serious regard. You have allowed their full influence to both. With very great respect, I am Sir, your Obedt., J. Marshall."