Nominees selected for U.S. attorney in Indiana

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In its latest round of nominations for U.S. attorney candidates announced today, the White House has tapped the current interim U.S. Attorney for the Southern Indiana District and a litigator based in Chicago for the Northern District of Indiana.

Joshua Minkler, who has served as the interim U.S. Attorney in the Southern District since June 2015, has been nominated to fill the position. Prior to becoming the interim, he served for 21 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the same office where he held the positions of first assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the Drug and Violent Crime Unit.

Thomas Kirsch II, partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, has been nominated to be U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana.  He clerked for Judge John Tinder when he was a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, and he served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Indiana as well as counsel to the assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy.

Minkler received his bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and his J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Kirsch received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

This is the third round of nominations for the chief federal law enforcement officers in judicial districts around the country. A total of six candidates were presented in this wave for vacancies in Iowa, Missouri Illinois and North Carolina as well as Indiana.

Yesterday, the White House nominated 11 to fill vacancies on the district courts but none were named for the open seats in Indiana.

President Donald Trump announced his picks for federal judgeships in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Oklahoma. The list includes individual candidate for vacancies in the Northern District of Georgia, the Middle District of Tennessee and the Eastern District of North Carolina, all designated as judicial emergencies by the U.S. Courts administration because of the caseloads.

Indiana has two openings in its district courts. The Southern District of Indiana has had a vacancy for 1,110 days since Judge Sarah Evans Barker took senior status in June 2014. That unfilled spot has been identified as a judicial emergency.

In the Northern District of Indiana, a seat has been vacant since Judge Robert Miller Jr. took senior status in January 2016. Another seat will be opening in September when Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen is scheduled to take senior status.

Earlier in the spring, Indiana Sen. Todd Young put out a call for applications for the judicial vacancies as well as the openings in the U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal offices in the state. The senator’s office said a number of well-qualified candidates have been interviewed and Young has had conversations about the vacancies with the White House.

Young had no timeline for when the judicial nominees would be announced but said he would like the vacancies filled quickly as possible to avoid a backlog in the courts.

Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, Democrat, has been kept informed about the process, Young’s office said, but the two are not working jointly to select potential nominees.

In May, the White House nominated Notre Dame Law School professor Amy Coney Barrett for the Indiana seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. She has not had a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

During his final year in office, President Barack Obama nominated Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Indiana Winfield Ong and former Indiana Justice Myra Selby for the Southern Indiana District and 7th Circuit courts respectively.

Ong received a hearing and was unanimously approved by the judiciary committee on a voice but he never received a vote from the full Senate. Selby, whose nomination was blocked by then-Sen. Dan Coats, was not given a hearing by the committee. 


  • Double standards
    Imagine if Selby were a white Christian male ... To quote Sean hanity ... The double standards are astonishing. If a white Christian male were bought off the court and set up to push a right wing agenda ...I cannot even imagine the press uproar. In this instance? I would bet a handsome sum this post or these comments are quashed by noon Monday.
  • Inquiring minds want to know ... but they are very few and far between
    So I tried to get to this figure via open records requests .... seems it is not open. Surprise, surprise, surpriiiiiisssssssseeeee. "(C) Indiana Supreme Court Commission on Race and Gender Fairness. (1) Creation and Members. There is hereby created a commission to be known as the Indiana Supreme Court Commission on Race and Gender Fairness. The commission shall consist of not less than ten (10) and not more than twenty-five (25) members ... Court shall appoint a chair of the commission. (2) Duties of the Commission. The Indiana Supreme Court Commission on Race and Gender Fairness shall study the status of race and gender fairness in Indiana's justice system and shall investigate ways to improve race and gender fairness in the courts ... (3) Meetings and Compensation. The commission shall meet at the call of the chair....All members who are public employees shall serve without compensation. Members who are not public employees shall receive a per diem compensation as the Supreme Court shall fix from time to time." HERE IS THE HUGE QUESTION: What is that per diem for the full time chair, the only chair who has ever served this august committee since its birth at the time the chair retired, quite prematurely, from the Indiana Supreme Court? That is a state secret, I found out via open record requests.
    • Why?
      Political correctness on steroids here: Note no religion, even though I hold testimonial and transcript evidence that religion is discriminated against at the highest levels of the Hoosier court. Yes, I wrote Myra Selby. Study available upon request. It documents the prima facia unconstitutionality of having a commission to press for gender and race "fairness" while ignoring religious discrimination. Any journalist with grit could also study how this boondoggle commission got started and why, and how much it spends to give Selby an alternative throne room. Just find me if you have the gravitas to rake muck. (None will.)
      • Thank God!
        Thank God for Senator Dan Coats!

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        1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

        2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

        3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: Here are the two research papers: 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

        4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

        5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.