Court Vacancies

Before Supreme Court nod, an intrusive interrogation

February 17, 2016
 Associated Press
White House lawyers are scouring a life's worth of information about President Barack Obama's potential picks for the Supreme Court of the United States, from the mundane to the intensely personal.
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Indiana justice applicant interviews to begin Wednesday

February 16, 2016
IL Staff
Twenty-nine lawyers and judges vying to replace retiring Indiana Supreme Court Justice Brent Dickson will be interviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission beginning Wednesday morning and continuing Thursday and Friday.
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Senate GOP to Obama: Don't bother nominating to Supreme Court

February 16, 2016
 Associated Press
Senate Republicans united behind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in insisting that President Barack Obama's successor fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia's death. Democrats looking to reclaim the Senate majority immediately accused them of putting politics ahead of their constitutional responsibility.
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Pence orders flags at half-staff to honor Scalia

February 15, 2016
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence has directed that flags at state facilities around Indiana be flown at half-staff to honor the service of Supreme Court of the United States Justice Antonin Scalia, who died Saturday.
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30 justice applicants bring varied backgrounds

February 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
The lawyers and judges vying to become the next Indiana justice include a one-time Swiss Alps guide, an aerobics instructor, and a former Indiana University football player. At least three got their start working at McDonald’s, and more have lived in Rensselaer (three) than were born in Indianapolis (two).
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Supreme Court applicants’ info online; interviews set

January 28, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana state courts Thursday released the applications of the 30 lawyers and judges who want to be the next justice on the Indiana Supreme Court as well as the interview times of the applicants.
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Selby, Ong nominated for federal bench

January 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Even before a confirmation hearing has been gaveled to order or a floor vote scheduled, one nominee to an Indiana vacancy on the federal bench is facing opposition as a home state senator renews his call for a nominating commission.
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30 apply for Indiana Supreme Court vacancy

January 25, 2016
IL Staff
Thirty judges and lawyers have applied to succeed Justice Brent Dickson on the Indiana Supreme Court. The first round of interviews will take place in mid-February.
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Selby and Ong nominated to fill seats on the federal bench

January 13, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
As the two Indiana nominees for a pair of vacancies on the federal bench begin the confirmation process, one Indiana senator is withholding his support of the candidate for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Former Indiana justice, assistant U.S. attorney nominated for federal bench vacancies

January 12, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
President Barack Obama has announced his nominations for two federal judicial openings in Indiana.
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Dickson retirement date set for April 29

January 11, 2016
IL Staff
Justice Brent Dickson will retire from the Indiana Supreme Court April 29, he said Monday in a letter to Gov. Mike Pence.
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Gotsch will not seek third term as St. Joe Circuit judge

January 6, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch announced Tuesday that he will not seek election for a third term in 2016.
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Allen County seeking magistrate for misdemeanor and traffic division

January 6, 2016
IL Staff
Allen Superior Court’s Criminal Division is now accepting applications for an upcoming magistrate vacancy to be created after the retirement of Magistrate Judge Robert Ross.
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Donnelly hopeful Indiana’s federal court vacancies will be filled soon

December 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
With U.S. District Judge Robert Miller Jr. preparing to take senior status in January, Indiana will have three judicial vacancies to fill on the federal bench.
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Dickson: ‘I was ready and the time was right’

November 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
Retirement of the second-longest serving justice opens up the fourth Supreme Court vacancy in five years.
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COA finalists await governor's selection

June 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two trial court judges with a breadth of experience hearing criminal and civil matters and a public defender who’s tried hundreds of appeals are finalists to be the next Indiana Court of Appeals judge.
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2 judges, public defender selected as COA judge finalists

June 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two trial court judges with a breadth of experience hearing criminal and civil matters and a public defender who’s tried hundreds of appeals are finalists to be the next Indiana Court of Appeals judge.
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Nominating Commission names 3 finalists

June 10, 2015
IL Staff
The next Indiana Court of Appeals judge will be Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr., Wabash Superior Judge Christopher M. Goff or Patricia McMath of the Marion County Public Defender Agency. They are the three finalists that the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission selected Wednesday after holding interviews most of the day.
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Solo practitioner named to Lake County bench

September 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Merrillville attorney Bruce Parent has been named as a judge in the Lake Superior Court, Civil Division.
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Indiana federal court vacancies could remain for years

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The impact of the filibuster rule change on the role politics plays in the confirmation process remains to be seen.
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Senators seek candidate to fill Judge Barker’s vacancy

April 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats have begun the process for selecting a candidate to fill the vacancy coming to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Senior status not likely to slow Judge Barker

April 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys and judges alike say whenever Judge Sarah Evans Barker is on the bench, there is no question who is in charge in that courtroom. This is a judge they universally describe as well-prepared, well-organized and authoritative, but not averse to occasionally introducing a little humor in the proceedings.
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Sullivan to mediate Lake Superior judge dispute

April 1, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former Justice Frank Sullivan will mediate a dispute over a Lake Superior Court judgeship vacancy, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered Monday.
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Pence gets finalist list for St. Joe judgeship

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
A letter containing the names of the five finalists vying to succeed St. Joseph Superior Judge Michael P. Scopelitis has been delivered to Gov. Mike Pence. Scopelitis will retire in June. The list was tweaked after finalist Elizabeth Hurley was appointed to fill another pending vacancy on the court.
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5 finalists named for St. Joseph judgeship

March 19, 2013
IL Staff
The St. Joseph County Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission has selected the five finalists to fill an upcoming vacancy on the court when Chief Judge Michael P. Scopelitis retires in June.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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