ILNews

Hoosiers see holiday activity on nominations

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2009
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Indiana's legal community got a mixed bag of gifts on Christmas Eve, as one former Hoosier attorney received Senate confirmation for an ambassadorship, a federal prosecutor in Hammond learned he might be promoted, and a Bloomington law professor got what amounts to a lump of coal as senators declined to act on her nearly year-old nomination.

The flurry of activity started late Dec. 23 and carried over into Christmas Eve, with Sen. Evan Bayh announcing first that David Capp would be the pick for the U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Indiana. The veteran prosecutor has been with the office for 24 years, serving three times as interim chief and most recently since July 2007 when his predecessor Joseph Van Bokkelen took the federal bench. Capp now faces Senate confirmation, a process that will likely begin in early 2010.

The White House officially announced Capp's nomination on Dec. 24, just hours after the U.S. Senate made the historic vote on health-care reform and followed that up with action on several pending nominations.

One of those nominees approved was Anne Slaughter Andrew, whom the president had chosen in October to be ambassador to Costa Rica. She is the principal of Washington, D.C.-based New Energy Nexus LLC and advises companies and entrepreneurs about ways to capitalize on this new energy economy. An attorney who earned her degree from Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis, Andrew has also advised companies in corporate environmental and energy practices and served as of counsel at Bingham McHale, was co-chair of the Environment/Energy Team at Baker & Daniels, and was a partner at the Washington, D.C., law office of Patton & Boggs.

But while approving Andrew and multiple others for positions, the Senate declined to act on seven pending nominations. In a unanimous consent agreement, the Senate sent back to the White House for consideration the nomination of Dawn Elizabeth Johnsen, a professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington. She was chosen in January to run the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel. Opposition stacked up against her during the past year, specifically about her criticism of the department during the Bush administration and the use of executive powers.

The White House must now decide whether to renominate Johnsen and six other nominees, or find new nominees for those vacant posts. The White House didn't respond to an email from Indiana Lawyer seeking comment on this action, nor did a spokesman in Sen. Bayh's office in Washington, D.C.
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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

  2. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  3. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

  4. If our State Government would sue for their rights to grow HEMP like Kentucky did we would not have these issues. AND for your INFORMATION many medical items are also made from HEMP. FOOD, FUEL,FIBER,TEXTILES and MEDICINE are all uses for this plant. South Bend was built on Hemp. Our states antiquated fear of cannabis is embarrassing on the world stage. We really need to lead the way rather than follow. Some day.. we will have freedom in Indiana. And I for one will continue to educate the good folks of this state to the beauty and wonder of this magnificent plant.

  5. Put aside all the marijuana concerns, we are talking about food and fiber uses here. The federal impediments to hemp cultivation are totally ridiculous. Preposterous. Biggest hemp cultivators are China and Europe. We get most of ours from Canada. Hemp is as versatile as any crop ever including corn and soy. It's good the governor laid the way for this, regrettable the buffoons in DC stand in the way. A statutory relic of the failed "war on drugs"

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