Congress

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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Senate president calling for constitutional convention to protect states’ rights

February 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Declaring that states’ rights are being trampled and the 10th Amendment is in shambles, the leader of the Indiana Senate is calling for a “gathering of states” to amend the U.S. Constitution.
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U.S. Supreme Court decision ignited grassroots effort to amend the Constitution

January 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In the fight over corporate influence in politics, one group is hoping the voice of the people can trump the allure of money.
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Sequestration would deepen staff cuts, chief judges warn

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
Federal courts that have squeezed staff as budgets shrank could be forced to furlough employees if Congress fails to avoid mandatory budget cuts that now are slated to take effect in March.
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ATM fee notice change likely

December 17, 2012
IL Staff
A requirement that automated teller machines post notices on or near the machine will be repealed under a bill Congress has sent to President Barack Obama.
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Possible end of tax credit leaves future renewable energy sources up in the air

December 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
Newton County lawyer Dan Blaney has a blunt reaction to the potential end of a federal subsidy that has enabled the rise of wind energy in his part of the state. “We’re in trouble,” he said.
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IU professor helps get pesky scrivener’s error removed from Trademark Act

December 4, 2012
IL Staff
One pesky scrivener’s error that altered the protection provided by the Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006 has been corrected thanks to the efforts of an Indiana University professor.
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Southern District judiciary comes together at ‘historic’ event to thank Lugar, Bayh

October 24, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Judges and judicial officers from the U.S. District Court for Southern District of Indiana came together recently to honor Sen. Richard Lugar and former Sen. Evan Bayh for their service to the federal judiciary.
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IU McKinney launches Bayh lecture

October 15, 2012
IL Staff
This Thursday marks the inaugural Birch Bayh Lecture at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. The annual event, named after former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, will focus on issues of importance to Bayh regarding the government.
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Attorneys general warn against federal payday loan regulation

October 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
A bill in Congress that would extend federal regulation to the payday lending industry would pre-empt state laws and undermine consumer safeguards, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller warned in a letter signed by 40 attorneys general.
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New provisions shine light on patent process

September 26, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
One addition under the America Invents Act is the public has the opportunity to participate in pre- and post-grant reviews.
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High court ruling opens Medicaid escape hatch for states

June 28, 2012
J.K. Wall
While upholding President Barack Obama’s health care law, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday also opened an escape hatch for states that do not want to take on the project of expanding their Medicaid programs.
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Proposals would add visas for STEM workers

June 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
Highly skilled immigrants are the focus of 2 bills introduced in Congress.
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Vacancies on federal bench will be topic of White House meetings Monday

May 4, 2012
IL Staff
Reba Boyd Wooden, executive director of the Center for Inquiry-Indiana, will travel to Washington Monday to meet with White House officials about the vacancy crisis in America’s federal courts.
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ATM fee disclosure rules and related litigation

April 25, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
In 2011, nine lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, in which plaintiffs sued owners or operators of ATMs for failing to post a sign advising users of usage fees. Similar suits have been filed around the country, and groups that represent ATM owners’ interests are calling for a change to federal law to stop further litigation.
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Cameras in SCOTUS bill referred to full Senate

February 10, 2012
IL Staff
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday that will allow cameras in the Supreme Court of the United States. The measure, S.1945, was approved by an 11-7 vote.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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