First Amendment

SCOTUS denies cert, upholding Indiana's judicial canons

May 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
It’s official: Indiana’s judicial canons are constitutional and the rules don’t infringe upon a judge or candidate’s free speech rights.
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SCOTUS denies Indiana judicial canons case

May 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to take a case asking whether Indiana’s judicial canons constitutionally infringe on the free speech rights of those on or vying for seats on the bench.
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Justices find email is constitutionally protected speech

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in granting summary judgment to a fire chief and township in a firefighter’s suit following his termination by the chief for sending a personal, political email that the chief believed contained false statements of fact. The firefighter’s email was actually constitutionally protected speech, the Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday.
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Religious-worship burglary enhancement doesn’t violate constitutions

February 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled against a man who argued the enhancement of his burglary conviction to a Class B felony because he burgled a church violated the federal and state constitutions. In the first impression issue, the judges held the enhancement doesn’t violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment or Article 1, Section 4 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Lawsuit challenges free-expression restriction at airport

January 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Fort Wayne man is suing the Allen County Airport Authority because he claims a recently enacted resolution severely restricts his ability to protest the new screening procedures implemented by the Transportation Security Administration.
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Justices hear 3 cases, including robo-calls appeal

January 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court heard three arguments this morning, including one case that it had granted emergency transfer to regarding whether the state should be constitutionally allowed to restrict robo-calls to residents.
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Judges reverse dismissal of prisoner's suit

January 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a prisoner’s civil rights suit that stemmed from his lack of gloves while working in the cold to remove tree stumps.
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State urges SCOTUS to deny judicial canons case

January 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office has filed a brief with the nation’s highest court, urging the justices to not hear a case about whether Indiana’s judicial canons constitutionally infringe on the free speech rights of those on or vying for seats on the bench.
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Suit challenges Bible instruction at public school

October 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s objection to Bible study being taught at her son’s public school has led her to file a lawsuit to stop the religious teaching.
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SCOTUS asked to take both judicial canons appeals

September 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney wants the nation’s highest court to review two appellate cases out of Indiana and Wisconsin that uphold judicial canons and pose free speech questions about what judicial candidates can say or do when campaigning for office.
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Religious defense doesn't discharge court's subject matter jurisdiction

September 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A court with authority to hear defamation and invasion of privacy claims is not ousted of subject matter jurisdiction just because a defendant pleads a religious defense, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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7th Circuit upholds Indiana's judicial canons

September 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At a time when the legal community is caught up in controversies about how judges are selected and whether they can remain impartial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has weighed in on that national debate and ruled that states have the authority to self-regulate on those issues as it relates to judicial canons.
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Circuit Court split on rehearing judicial canons case

August 31, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Indiana’s two federal appeals judges disagree about whether the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals should reconsider a Wisconsin case about the judicial code of conduct in that state, paving the way for a further battle before the nation’s highest court that could influence Indiana’s judicial canons.
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7th Circuit upholds Indiana judicial canons

August 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins, Michael Hoskins
A three-judge federal appellate panel says that Indiana’s judicial canons are not unconstitutionally restrictive of free speech and should stand.
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Class action suit challenges voter-removal statute

August 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State officials are prohibiting people convicted and incarcerated for misdemeanor offenses from voting while they are behind bars, but that could change if a federal suit is successful.
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Law doesn't infringe on free speechRestricted Content

July 7, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled June 24 on the case of Doe v. Reed, No. 09-559, in which Terre Haute attorney James Bopp Jr. was the lead attorney on the case that pitted free speech versus public disclosure of ballot petition supporters.
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COA balances free speech vs. minor's privacy rights

June 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was faced with competing constitutional rights today: a mother’s right to free political speech versus her daughter’s right to privacy as to whether her father allegedly sexually abused her.
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Indiana lawyer loses SCOTUS case

June 24, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney has lost a free speech case before the Supreme Court of the United States, striking a blow to what he calls an ongoing campaign to eliminate campaign finance reform.
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Indiana attorney set for SCOTUS Wednesday

January 27, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney is making his sixth argument before the nation's highest court Wednesday, but his first before the newest justice. This time he's there on a case that could ultimately change campaign-finance disclosure rules nationally.
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City stopped from enforcing adult-business law

December 3, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction to an adult bookstore in Indianapolis, temporarily stopping the city from enforcing a 2002 ordinance that regulates adult businesses.
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Federal judge OKs state's judicial canons

July 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge says the Indiana Supreme Court can regulate judicial speech through its cannons, and has ruled the existing rules do not violate a judge or judicial candidate's constitutional free speech or association rights.
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SCOTUS recusal ruling cited in judicial-canon case

June 25, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Fort Wayne is deciding whether the state's judicial conduct code should be able to restrict judicial candidates from answering surveys about views on issues they might someday hear in court.
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New conduct code impacts judicial speech case

March 27, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Fort Wayne wants parties to start over and file new briefs in a challenge to the state's judicial canons, on claims that the rules wrongfully restrict judicial candidates from filling out surveys about their views on issues they might someday hear in court.
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Court: Church program at school should end

February 4, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A church-owned religious education program held on school grounds in Huntington County should be terminated because it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, a federal magistrate has ruled.
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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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