Johnsen ‘watch’ is over

April 12, 2010
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Dawn Johnsen watch at Indiana Lawyer is over. Since her nomination to lead the Office of Legal Counsel, we waited for months and months (and months) for her nomination to be voted on … for her to be approved or rejected for the post. Nearly a year passed, and her nomination died. But she was re-nominated and approved again by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, so we waited some more for the full Senate to discuss and vote.

The wait is over. Johnsen withdrew her name from consideration for the post April 9. Our reporter Rebecca Berfanger described the situation in a previous post as “Dawn Johnsen fatigue.” Well, “Dawn Johnsen fatigue” has ended.

I was just at the investiture ceremony of her brother-in-law, 7th Circuit Judge David Hamilton, who briefly mentioned Johnsen, saying she deserved the nomination. When I got home from the ceremony an hour later, I learned she had withdrawn her name.

It’s surprising how long this process has taken, all the time essentially wasted, for us to reach this result. For 15 months, politics have held up Johnsen’s nomination. For 15 months, her life has been uncertain not knowing whether she’d be approved. And maybe most importantly, for 15 months, there still isn’t a Senate-approved head of that office in place. We are right back where we started in February 2009 when Johnsen’s name was submitted for the office.

The OLC is an important office. Let’s hope the next person nominated doesn’t have to wait 15 months to be approved or rejected by the Senate.
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  • How sad the president and the nation will not have the benefit over her wise counsel.

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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