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Indy magistrate gets Senate panel's approval

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An Indianapolis federal magistrate joins two of her colleagues in getting a U.S. Senate committee's approval to become an Article III judge for Indiana.

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the nomination of Magistrate Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson for a judicial opening in the Southern District of Indiana. Committee members voted today after postponing discussion and vote on March 4, when members unanimously approved two other Hoosier nominees: Jon DeGuilio for the Northern District of Indiana and Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt for the Southern District of Indiana.

Ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., wanted to personally follow up with Magistrate Judge Magnus-Stinson before voting because he'd received a response from her the night before about questions following her Feb. 11 nomination hearing. His press office declined to elaborate on details of the meeting March 8, but the magistrate's online response showed the senator had concerns about her handling of capital cases, the death penalty, and recusal issues she's faced in the past.

If confirmed, Magistrate Judge Magnus-Stinson, who's been on at the federal court since 2007, would succeed U.S. Judge Larry McKinney, who took senior status in July 2009; Judge Pratt would succeed Judge David F. Hamilton, who was elevated last year to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals; and DeGuilio would fill a vacancy left by Judge Allen Sharp, who died in July 2009 after almost two years of senior status.

With this approval, the three nominees - chosen by President Barack Obama in mid-January - now must get approval from the full U.S. Senate, though no timetable exists for when that might happen. It's up to Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to determine when they are brought up for discussion and a vote. The same process is in place for the nomination of Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington professor Dawn Johnsen, who received a party-line vote March 4 from the Senate committee. She was first nominated early last year and went through the confirmation process, but didn't get a vote in the full Senate and was ultimately re-nominated this year.

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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