Government

House to vote on Sept. 11 lawsuit bill opposed by Saudi Arabia

September 7, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote this week on Senate-passed legislation that would allow families of the Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for liability in the attacks.
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Committee to weigh new courts, changes for existing courts

September 7, 2016
IL Staff
The next meeting of the General Assembly’s Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary will consider requests for new courts and changes to existing courts when it meets Sept. 22.
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Lafayette adds transgender antidiscrimination protections

September 7, 2016
 Associated Press
The Lafayette City Council has approved antidiscrimination protections for transgender people.
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Officers, prosecutors get training in crash reconstructions

September 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
More than 60 law enforcement officers and prosecutors from around Indiana took part in crash-reconstruction training in August at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield. The training included several live demonstrations that allowed investigators to collect and analyze evidence that could be used in a criminal case.
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Fight to protect Indiana bat from wind farm renders mixed ruling

September 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana bat has been part of a long-running battle against a proposed 100-turbine wind farm in Ohio. A lawsuit filed in 2013 by the Bloomington-based Conservation Law Center sought to block a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would have allowed the Buckeye Wind Project to kill the protected species.
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Longtime attorney named to fill open IURC position

September 6, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
A longtime Indiana attorney has been named to serve on a state commission that approves utility rates for millions of residents and businesses.
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Former Lake Station mayor admits to wiretapping employees

September 2, 2016
 Associated Press
New court records show that the former mayor of the northwest Indiana city of Lake Station admitted to recording and listening to phone calls of City Hall employees over several years starting in 2011.
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Court battle heats up between state, Monarch Beverage affiliate

September 1, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
The legal battle between the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission and Spirited Sales LLC — an affiliate of Monarch Beverage Co. — is escalating, despite a Marion County judge’s ruling last week that Spirit is entitled to become a liquor wholesaler in the state.
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Order: Strip searches violate religious rights of ‘American Taliban’

September 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has ruled strip searches prior to non-contact visits are a violation of the religious rights of Yahya (John Walker) Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban” who’s housed in the federal prison at Terre Haute. The judge also chided federal authorities who ignored Supreme Court precedent that was on point in the case.
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Indiana owner of Wright house sues over historic designation

September 1, 2016
 Associated Press
The owner of a northeastern Indiana home designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright is suing Fort Wayne officials over the home's historic designation.
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7th Circuit rejects government’s position of inmate self-defense

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hold, as the district court did, that an inmate can only use force in self-defense against a correctional officer if the inmate faces death or serious bodily harm.
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FSSA employees face individual claims for day care registration revocation

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Two employees of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration will face individual-capacity claims brought by a religious day care whose registration was revoked without providing for some type of hearing, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Lawyer investigating lead at Indiana housing complex

August 31, 2016
 Associated Press
An attorney for families in an Indiana public housing complex slated to be demolished because of lead contamination says he's investigating whether public officials knew about the problem and allowed children to be "poisoned."
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Both sides remain divided on LGBT rights ahead of session

August 31, 2016
 Associated Press
Advocates on both sides of Indiana's debate over the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents remained divided and were unable to make recommendations Tuesday to a committee of lawmakers considering the topic ahead of the upcoming legislative session.
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FAA forecast: 600,000 commercial drones within the year

August 30, 2016
 Associated Press
There will be 600,000 commercial drone aircraft operating in the U.S. within the year as the result of new safety rules that opened the skies to them on Monday, according to a Federal Aviation Administration estimate.
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Indiana man mistakenly shot by cop: 'Why did you shoot me?'

August 29, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis man who was mistakenly shot by a police officer responding to an armed robbery said Friday that he isn't certain he will sue the city over the shooting.
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Ohio chief justice on court impacts, roles in drug epidemic

August 29, 2016
 Associated Press
The chief justice of Ohio's supreme court helped bring together experts and officials from nine states, including Indiana, in a regional judicial summit on the opioid drug epidemic, even as an overdose surge sweeping nearby streets showed dramatically the scope of the problem.
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Burkini ban in French beach town reversed by Supreme Court

August 26, 2016
 Bloomberg News
France’s top court struck down a push by local governments to ban the “burkini” from the nation’s beaches, saying the Muslim-style full-body swimming outfits don’t create a public threat that justifies impinging on freedom of religion.
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Monarch affiliate gets big win in effort to sell liquor

August 26, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
A Marion County Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a Monarch Beverage Co. affiliate called Spirited Sales LLC in its quest to gain a permit to wholesale liquor, a win in Monarch’s years-long effort to enter the spirits business.
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Prosecutor: Fort Wayne officer's shooting of teen justified

August 26, 2016
 Associated Press
A prosecutor says a Fort Wayne police officer was acting in self-defense when he shot a teenager in the back.
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Workplace harassment endures, evolves

August 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
Despite decades of on-the-job training for workers and numerous high-profile lawsuits, harassment by managers and co-workers persists. Though the number of sexual harassment claims has declined in recent years, companies still get hit with thousands of lawsuits alleging harassment of some kind each year.
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7th Circuit opinion highlights confusion over LGBT discrimination protection

August 24, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Within the first nine pages of its opinion, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s ruling that sexual orientation is not protected by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And there, the panel could have ended its discussion. But the court spotlighted the growing confusion in the courts of when, exactly, sexual orientation crosses the line into gender nonconformity.
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Judge rules in favor of scorned e-liquid manufacturer in vaping case

August 23, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Opponents of Indiana’s controversial vaping law scored a victory Friday when a federal judge ruled in favor of a Florida e-liquid manufacturer that argued the law was unconstitutional.
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No appeal in Indiana woman's overturned feticide conviction

August 23, 2016
 Associated Press
The attorney for an Indiana woman whose feticide conviction for a self-induced abortion was overturned said Tuesday he's pleased the state's attorney general decided not to appeal that ruling and hopes she's freed soon from prison.
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FBI probing for possible corruption in vaping law

August 23, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
The FBI is probing whether any illegal activity led to the creation and passage of Indiana’s contentious new vaping law.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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