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In-box: Don't we have more pressing business?

April 27, 2011
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Letters to the Editor

Dear Mickey

Thanks for saying in your column (Indiana Lawyer March 30-April 12, 2011) what I hope many of us Hoosiers are thinking and feeling about the proposed immigration and same-sex marriage legislation. In particular, as a married father of two, I am puzzled regarding why our legislators feel compelled to spend valuable time working to enact more same-sex marriage laws that we do not need. Don’t we have more pressing business at hand? I have to conclude, as you do, that blatant prejudice, homophobia and intolerance are driving these efforts. I have not heard or read of any compelling legal justification for more regulation of same-sex marriage, and morality is not an area where lawmakers should intrude. I would rather see our General Assembly work on a law providing same-sex couples access to the rights and privileges that married couples enjoy by legalizing same-sex marriage, or civil union, etc., whatever label will avoid the most controversy and provide dissolution, custody, child support and related rights to these Hoosiers.

Unfortunately, your column reinforces for me how shameful and embarrassing it will be if Indiana passes an Arizona-like immigration law and even more anti-same-sex marriage laws. The jokes I hear about Indiana being so backward and unsophisticated will, I suppose, be appropriate. The negative impact on Indiana in terms of attracting and keeping businesses just makes the shame and embarrassment costly, too. I have become a supporter of Gov. Daniels, despite being a longtime Democratic voter, because of his shrewd, business-like approach to running this state; he seems genuinely earnest in his belief that Indiana needs to reinvent itself as a state where businesses want to be. I just wonder why he cannot prevail upon the legislators pushing these issues to leave well enough alone. I am proud to have been a Hoosier my entire life, but nothing about these proposed laws makes me proud.

Alan J. Irvin
Donahoe/Irvin, Indianapolis

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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