Federal agencies

7th Circuit rejects denial of disabled woman’s benefits

September 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding repeated fault with the administrative law judge who denied a Chandler woman Social Security disability payments, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case to the Social Security Administration.
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Feds reach settlement for East Chicago cleanup

September 4, 2014
 Associated Press
The federal government has reached a proposed settlement under which two companies will pay for an estimated $26 million cleanup of lead and arsenic contamination in an East Chicago neighborhood.
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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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Judge wants Congress to reconsider FDIC’s rights when taking over a bank

August 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case that hinges on the distinction between direct and derivative claims, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that a failed bank can pursue two claims against former managers.
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Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices

July 30, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years.
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Lawsuit: Afghanistan subcontractor cheated workers

July 3, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal investigators are examining whether a military subcontractor underpaid scores of medical workers in Afghanistan, pocketing federal funds that the government intended the company use to pay its employees.
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Ruling limits president's recess appointments

June 27, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday limited the president's power to fill high-level administration posts with temporary appointments, ruling in favor of Senate Republicans in their partisan clash with President Barack Obama.
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Justices limit existing EPA global warming rules

June 23, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday placed limits on the sole Obama administration program already in place to deal with power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.
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Trademark board rules against Redskins name

June 18, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal trademark board ruled Wednesday that the Washington Redskins nickname is "disparaging of Native Americans" and that the team's trademark protections should be canceled, a decision that applies new financial and political pressure on the team to change its name.
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Justice Department outlines new clemency initiative

April 23, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday announced its initiative to encourage qualified federal inmates to petition to have their sentences commuted or reduced by the president of the United States.
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ADA violations in bar admission catch attention of Indiana BLE

March 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The U.S. Department of Justice has found Louisiana discriminated against bar applicants with mental health problems.
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Indiana joins brief seeking to halt EPA-led plan to clean up Chesapeake Bay

February 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
Decades of squabbles over cleaning up one of America’s most historic but polluted waters resulted in an agreement between states and the federal government that supporters say could restore the Chesapeake Bay to a swimmable, fishable national treasure. But if Indiana and other states without a direct stake in the Chesapeake have their way, the cleanup hashed out between bay states and the Environmental Protection Agency will be stopped.
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Proposed rule clears up ambiguities on release of mental health patients' names

February 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
What the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calls a modification to rules protecting patient privacy has sparked similar outcries from groups that might normally find themselves opposing each other. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Gun Owners of America both have come out against a proposed rule change to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that would allow health care entities to release the names of some mental health patients to the national firearm background check system.
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Man is first charged under federal human trafficking law

February 5, 2014
IL Staff
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett announced Tuesday that his office has filed a nine-count federal indictment against an Indianapolis man for human trafficking. These are first-of-a-kind charges in Indiana, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Indiana.
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Judge rejects Notre Dame bid for injunction on contraception coverage

December 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge denied the University of Notre Dame’s request for an injunction blocking the “contraception mandate” in the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for birth control.
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Cybersecurity expert: ruling on surveillance program ‘extraordinarily significant’

December 18, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor Fred Cate heralded the decision handed down Dec. 16 by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon as possibly landing a crippling blow to the federal government’s surveillance program.
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24 more school corps join IRS lawsuit on employer mandate

December 9, 2013
IL Staff
Twenty-four additional school corporations have joined the lawsuit filed in October by the state of Indiana and 15 school corporations against the Internal Revenue Service challenging the tax penalties that could be imposed in 2015 under the “employer mandate” of the Affordable Care Act.
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SCOTUS takes ACA ‘contraception mandate’ cases

November 26, 2013
IL Staff
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear two cases that could determine whether companies that provide health insurance to employees can be required under the new health care law to provide coverage for birth control.
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'Contraception mandate' goes before SCOTUS

November 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Madison family business is at the forefront of a legal challenge the Supreme Court of the United States will conference over Nov. 26 – whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “contraception mandate” violates the religious liberties of company owners whose faith proscribes birth control.
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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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7th Circuit blocks Obamacare ‘contraception mandate’

November 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
Roman Catholic employers – including the owners of an Indiana company – won a Circuit Court ruling Friday blocking the “contraception mandate” contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.
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State, public schools sue federal government over Obamacare

October 8, 2013
IL Staff
Fifteen Indiana school districts and the state of Indiana have filed a lawsuit challenging the federal health care law and subsidies that are available to Hoosiers under rules set by the IRS.
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Zoeller joins multi-state call for e-cigarette regulation

September 26, 2013
IL Staff
The Food and Drug Administration should restrict the sale and marketing of increasingly popular e-cigarettes, particularly to minors, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller advocates in joining a letter signed by AGs from 36 other states and three U.S. territories.
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Ethanol plant emissions suit may be bound for Indiana Supreme Court

August 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s ethanol industry faces an uncertain regulatory environment and likely more stringent emissions standards after a recent Indiana Court of Appeals ruling. A state agency will ask the Indiana Supreme Court to hear the case, as several corn-to-fuel plant operators also are expected to do.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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