Court Vacancies

Democratic senators pushing for vote on federal nominees

July 13, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Some Democratic senators in the U.S. Senate Wednesday are calling for unanimous consent to hold a floor vote on the judicial nominations, including Winfield Ong who has been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Senate committee unanimously supports Ong nomination

June 16, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Winfield Ong received the support of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. On a voice vote, the committee unanimously approved Ong’s nomination.
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Senate committee to vote on Ong nomination

June 10, 2016
IL Staff
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote June 16 on the nomination of Winfield Ong to be U.S. District judge for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Slaughter to join Indiana Supreme Court Monday

June 7, 2016
IL Staff
Geoffrey G. Slaughter will be sworn as an Indiana Supreme Court justice next week, the court announced Tuesday. Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush will administer the oath of office Monday in a brief, private ceremony, which will allow Slaughter, formerly a partner with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, to begin deciding cases and handling administrative matters with his colleagues.
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Indiana Supreme Court deadlocks on protective order case

May 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated an Indiana Court of Appeals decision in a protection order case it took on transfer after the four justices deadlocked on how to resolve the case.
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Senate Judiciary hearing set for District Court nominee Ong

May 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Indiana will get a hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in Washington.
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Rucker likely to leave Supreme Court in 2017

May 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
The senior justice on the Indiana Supreme Court expects to step down sometime in 2017, which would complete a total turnover of the bench that began in 2010.
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Pence appoints Slaughter to replace Dickson on Supreme Court

May 9, 2016
Gov. Mike Pence Monday named Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP partner Geoffrey Slaughter to the Indiana Supreme Court. The veteran litigator will replace Justice Brent Dickson who retired from the court April 29.
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Pence picks Taft attorney as next Supreme Court justice

May 9, 2016
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence has selected Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP partner Geoffrey Slaughter as Indiana's 109th justice. Pence made the announcement at 1 p.m. Monday from his office in the Statehouse.
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Dickson to be honored Friday, his last day on the bench

April 29, 2016
IL Staff
The state's second-longest serving justice will officially retire from the Indiana Supreme Court Friday.
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St. Joe Circuit judge named as new federal magistrate

April 27, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch is moving from one court to another this year. The judge, who decided not to run for re-election, has been selected to serve as a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Senate Judiciary chair Grassley has breakfast with Garland

April 12, 2016
 Associated Press
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley had breakfast Tuesday with the man whose elevation to the U.S. Supreme Court he has vowed to block and told him the Senate won't advance his nomination "during this hyper-partisan election year," the lawmaker's office said.
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Grassley at peace with obstructionist stance on high court pick

April 7, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The Iowa Republican senator who chairs the Judiciary Committee has been at the center of a storm of pressure from the White House, Democrats and grassroots activists across the country to get him to crack and allow the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland to go forward.
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Obama to push Supreme Court nominee at University of Chicago

April 1, 2016
 Associated Press
President Barack Obama heads to law school next week to push his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
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Garland holding first meeting with Republican senator

March 29, 2016
 Associated Press
Merrick Garland was set to meet Tuesday with Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, marking the U.S. Supreme Court nominee's first courtesy call on a senator whose party leaders have vowed to hold no hearings or vote until a new president is chosen.
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Donnelly meets with SCOTUS nominee

March 28, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
As Senate Republicans continue to block President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court of the United States, Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly met with the nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, Monday on Capitol Hill.
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Biden: 'There is no Biden rule' on Supreme Court nominations

March 25, 2016
 Associated Press
Vice President Joe Biden tried to clear his name and tout his record on Supreme Court nominations, calling Republican branding of his past remarks on the subject "ridiculous" and casting himself as a longtime advocate of bipartisan compromise in filling seats on the high court.
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Unabomber case helped hone Supreme Court nominee's legal skills

March 25, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The killer known as the Unabomber was methodical, patient and meticulous. So was the U.S. Justice Department official who directed the investigation that took him down.
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Barnes attorney worked with SCOTUS nominee on OKC bombing trials

March 17, 2016
 Associated Press, Marilyn Odendahl
When federal Judge Merrick Garland was tapped as the nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States, Indiana attorney Larry Mackey remembered his former boss as a “great guy.”
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Obama nominates Judge Merrick Garland to Supreme Court

March 16, 2016
 Associated Press
President Barack Obama said Wednesday he would nominate appeals court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court of the United States, urging Republicans to approve a long-time jurist and former prosecutor known as "one of America's sharpest legal minds."
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GOP launches campaign to oppose Obama Supreme Court pick

March 14, 2016
 Associated Press
The Republican Party is launching a campaign to try to derail President Barack Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, teaming up with a conservative opposition research group to target vulnerable Democrats and impugn whomever Obama picks.
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Indiana Supreme Court nomination letter sent to Pence

March 14, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush sent a letter March 11 describing the three nominees for the state Supreme Court to Gov. Mike Pence.
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Senator: Jordan withdraws name for Supreme Court

March 9, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court judge who could have become the U.S. Supreme Court's first Cuban-American justice has withdrawn his name from consideration, a Democratic senator said Wednesday.
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Hostetler, Kincaid, Slaughter picked as Indiana Supreme Court finalists

March 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Two judges with extensive business litigation backgrounds and an Indianapolis appellate litigator were named finalists to succeed retiring Justice Brent Dickson on the Indiana Supreme Court.
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3 Supreme Court finalists selected

March 4, 2016
IL Staff
The Judicial Nominating Commission has selected the three finalists to succeed retiring Justice Brent Dickson on the Indiana Supreme Court.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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