Congress

Attorney General nominee picks up GOP support

January 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch picked up her first Republican endorsement Thursday en route to likely confirmation as the first black woman in the nation's top law enforcement job.
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Attorney General nominee moves closer to confirmation

January 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Senators weigh Loretta Lynch's nomination for attorney general for a second day at a hearing certain to pile criticism on President Barack Obama and Eric Holder, the current occupant of the job.
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Frustrations with patent trolls spark push for pest control

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Three years after passing the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act which overhauled the U.S. patent system, Congress and state legislatures have been introducing bills that primarily seek to reform the process by clamping down on so-called patent trolls.
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Federal judiciary receives budget boost

December 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by the U.S. Congress as a government shutdown loomed included some relief for the federal judiciary.
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Federal bill gives equal treatment to IOLTA funds held at credit unions

December 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After months in limbo, a bill passed by the U.S. Senate Thursday will extend insurance coverage for IOLTA accounts.
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Wabash alumnus calls for reasoned and thoughtful political speech

October 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While the supporters of the Citizens United decision claim greater spending can energize the public to participate in the political process, First Amendment attorney David Kendall maintains the result has actually been less-thoughtful political speech and an influx of Congressional members who are more concerned with fundraising than setting policy.
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Attorneys general target Internet trafficking

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
Two years after a federal judge struck down a Washington law that targeted websites like Backpage.com, new state and federal efforts are again calling for more oversight of sites that offer "adult services," in the hopes of curbing sex trafficking.
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Hemp's growing pains in Indiana

August 27, 2014
Dave Stafford
Industrial hemp was legalized in Indiana when Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law this year, but you still can’t grow the crop in the Hoosier State.
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Indiana joins other states challenging EPA regulatory authority

August 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana has joined 11 other states in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, taking the unusual tactic of challenging the federal government’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases rather than challenging the rule itself.
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Sentencing panel to weigh economic crime penalties

August 15, 2014
 Associated Press
The federal panel that sets sentencing policy announced Thursday that it plans in the coming year to consider changes to sentencing guidelines for some white-collar crimes.
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Commission approves retroactive reduction in drug trafficking sentences

July 18, 2014
IL Staff
The United States Sentencing Commission unanimously voted Friday to retroactively apply a reduction in the sentencing guideline levels applicable to most federal trafficking offenders. The change could impact the sentences of more than 46,000 prisoners.
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Legal snags kill Community-Eskenazi hospital merger

June 13, 2014
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
Community Health Network and Eskenazi Health quietly called off their engagement months ago, when they found out federal laws effectively prohibited their marriage.
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Indiana federal court vacancies could remain for years

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The impact of the filibuster rule change on the role politics plays in the confirmation process remains to be seen.
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Senators seek candidate to fill Judge Barker’s vacancy

April 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats have begun the process for selecting a candidate to fill the vacancy coming to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Legal Service Corp. requests substantial boost in funding to meet growing need

March 5, 2014
IL Staff
In the budget released March 4, the White House recommended the Legal Services Corp. receive a federal appropriation of $430 million for the fiscal year 2015.
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Senate votes to change filibuster rule

November 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The U.S. Senate has voted to change how many votes are required to break a filibuster to approve executive and judicial nominees, reducing the threshold to the simple majority of 51. The change came about after several nominees were blocked by Republicans.
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US Supreme Court takes pass on cyberspying petition

November 19, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Supreme Court of the United States decided Monday, not to consider a petition challenging the legality of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, one cybersecurity expert at IU expects the issue will eventually come before the nine justices.
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Partial shutdown over, for now

October 17, 2013
IL Staff
President Barack Obama signed legislation Thursday ending the partial shutdown of the federal government and pushing back deadlines before Congress must act again to prevent a similar situation. The announcement from the White House came hours after the U.S. Courts announced federal courts would remain open through Oct. 18.
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Citing shutdown, federal court stays many civil cases

October 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
The federal government shutdown has led to a stay of nearly all civil actions in the U.S. courts in Evansville, Indianapolis, New Albany and Terre Haute in which the federal government has an interest.
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Indiana Senate President takes call for Constitutional Convention to national audiences

August 12, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, is pushing for an Article V Constitutional Convention by speaking at national meetings and trying to garner support beyond Indiana.
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Judge: Continuing current sequestration cuts would be ‘devastating’ to justice system

July 24, 2013
IL Staff
A federal judge implored a Senate panel Tuesday to provide sufficient funding for U.S. courts, warning that the general public will lose the access to justice that has been a hallmark of this country.
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Lugar: I paid the price for support of Obama picks

May 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar told members of the federal judiciary May 6 that his support of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court appointees, opposed by many in his party, may have carried the greatest political cost of any decisions during his 36 years in the Senate.
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Lugar: Votes for Obama Supreme Court nominees carried heavy cost

May 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar told members of the federal judiciary Monday that his support of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court appointees, opposed by many in his party, may have carried the greatest political cost of any decisions during his 36 years in the Senate.
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Indiana among 35 states urging federal immigration reform

April 10, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller joined a bipartisan group of 35 state and district attorneys general who Tuesday sent a letter to Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress urging federal immigration reform.
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New FMLA rule expands provisions for military families

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys see the 20-year-old Act growing beyond its original intent.
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