President picks Judge Tinder for 7th Circuit seat

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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A federal judge in Indianapolis is poised to be the first Hoosier jurist appointed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in 20 years.

The White House announced late Tuesday afternoon that President George W. Bush is nominating U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder to the Circuit Court. He'd replace retiring Circuit Judge Daniel A. Manion, who came from South Bend after being appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

A lifelong Indianapolis resident and a graduate of Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington, Judge Tinder was appointed District Court judge for the Southern District of Indiana in September 1987 at the age of 37. He'd previously served as a U.S. Attorney, chief trial deputy for the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, and a public defender in Marion County. He had also practiced privately for seven years.

The U.S. Senate must now confirm Judge Tinder's nomination. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not set a date for a nominating hearing, and 7th Circuit Judge Manion has not announced when he plans to retire.

District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in Indianapolis said the court has been anxiously anticipating this announcement for months, and it's a compliment not only to Judge Tinder's work but also to the Southern District itself.

"This is the first domino to fall, and this is very important not only to John but also speaks to the quality of this court," she said. "But today is a day to recognize John's quality of work and his contributions to the legal community."

If confirmed, the 57-year-old judge would be the only person on the Circuit Court from the state's Southern District Court - ranked one of the busiest of the nation's 94 District Courts and ranked first in the 7th Circuit based on weighted case filings per judge.

The only other circuit judges from Indiana are Reagan appointees from the Northern District: Judge Michael S. Kanne, who was appointed in 1987, and Judge Kenneth Ripple, appointed in 1985.

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