Judge Sarah Evans Barker to take senior status

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After 30 years on the federal bench, Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has announced her intention to take senior status effective June 30, 2014.

“It has been and continues to be an extraordinary privilege to serve as a federal judge in our Southern District,” Barker said. “I have been the beneficiary of valuable, selfless guidance and support from many wonderful, highly talented colleagues, law clerks, court staff and lawyers, and most of all from my beloved husband, Ken, and our family.”

Barker joined the court March 31, 1984, having been appointed by President Ronald Reagan with the support of Indiana Sens. Richard Lugar and Dan Quayle. She was the first woman appointed to the federal court in Indiana, filling the vacancy created by the death of Cale J. Holder.

During her tenure, Barker has held numerous appointments including serving as chief judge from 1994 to 2001, serving on the Judicial Conference of the United States and being appointed by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist to the Special Study Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability, known as the Breyer Committee.

Also from 2007 to 2009, she served a two-year term as president of the 900-plus member Federal Judges Association, composed of Article III judges from across the country.

Chief Judge Richard L. Young remarked on behalf of the Court, “Judge Barker has long been a trailblazer in the legal community, from her initial appointment as the first woman Assistant United States Attorney, followed by becoming the first woman Federal Judge in Indiana, continuing to her current role as a member of the Court. In her thirty years as a district judge, she has bridged two judicial generations and provided valuable leadership and guidance to the bench and bar. We are very grateful for her continued service to the Court and the citizens of the Southern District of Indiana.”

Judge Barker will continue to carry a full caseload until a successor is appointed by President Barack Obama with the guidance of Indiana Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats. When her successor is appointed, Barker expects to cut back her caseload to 80 percent of a full draw.



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.