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News spreads about Tinder's confirmation

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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News came late Tuesday night that U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder has been promoted to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

His first order of business today: resuming a criminal jury trial that's been under way this week in his Southern District of Indiana courtroom in Indianapolis. That priority made him unavailable early today to talk about the confirmation, but his courthouse colleagues made sure everyone knew the significance of the news.

"True to form, Judge Tinder was on the bench handling a jury trial the morning after he was confirmed," Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker said, noting what a noteworthy gift this is for the legal community. "He's a dedicated, hard-working judge, and his confirmation is a credit to his dedication and determination."

While most didn't see the televised confirmation vote, District Court Clerk Laura Briggs said she watched the vote at home with her husband and jumped up and down when hearing news of the unanimous vote shortly after 11 p.m.

After hours of debate about federal spending and other legislative issues throughout the day, the Senate moved to Judge Tinder's confirmation and voted 93-0 in his favor. Republican Sen. Richard Lugar had picked him for the spot, President George W. Bush nominated him in July, and the Senate has been working since to confirm him. Following last night's action, the confirmation vote was sent to the president for signing, which was expected today.

News spread quickly this morning in the Southern District's halls and court chambers, and everyone was absolutely ecstatic, Briggs said.

"I stayed up to watch the vote ... and couldn't sit still once Judge Tinder's name was on the screen," she said, noting that she watched the televised vote with her husband on C-Span2. "When the vote concluded unanimously, I'll admit that I literally danced with happiness for the judge.

"There's a certain pride associated with working for a man as honorable, intelligent, and fair as Judge Tinder," she added. "To see him recognized by this elevation, supported by senators from both political parties, is a credit to him and the court as a whole. It's a proud day for the Southern District."

Fellow U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker said she was pleased with how Judge Tinder's entire confirmation process wasn't arduous, as expected earlier this year. She knows how tough the waiting has been.

"I like to say he's off the Tinder-hook; though that sounds pre-planned and it's not," she said this morning. "This is analogous to a baby being born long overdue. When it finally happens, you're so ready for them to be born, but the wait makes it even more of a joyous occasion."

Judge Tinder is the first Hoosier jurist appointed to the federal appellate court in two decades. He will replace Circuit Judge Daniel A. Manion, who came from South Bend after being appointed in 1986 and is now taking senior status, according to his court staff in South Bend.

Uncertain this morning is when Judge Tinder's appointment will begin, but colleagues suspect he will be unofficially sworn in and then re-designated to the District Court until a new judge can be nominated and confirmed.

Judge Tinder will maintain office hours in the Southern District and travel back and forth to Chicago, according to Judge Barker.

"We're confident that he'll be as fine an appellate judge as he has been a trial judge," Judge Barker said about her colleague. "Everyone's confident that the things he's learned as a trial judge here about people and their important legal matters will influence the kind of judge he'll be."

A lifelong Indianapolis resident and Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington graduate, Judge Tinder has been at the District Court since 1987.

See the Dec. 26 issue of Indiana Lawyer for more comprehensive coverage on Judge Tinder's confirmation.
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  1. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  2. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  3. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  4. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  5. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

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