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Rare second hearing set for judge's nomination

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In an unusual move, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a second judicial nomination hearing next week for U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton, who's being considered for a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

That nomination hearing is set for 2 p.m. April 29 and is expected to be broadcast live online.

A first hearing happened April 1 just prior to the Senate's two-week break, and the judge answered questions about his 14 years of experience on the federal bench. But some Republicans didn't attend and effectively boycotted the hearing, not necessarily because of any opposition to Judge Hamilton's nomination but because they objected to the "unreasonable pace" at which the panel was vetting what would be the new president's first federal judicial pick.

President Barack Obama nominated Judge Hamilton for the post on March 17, and the first hearing was set about a week later. If he gets approval from committee members, the judge would still need confirmation by the full Senate. If confirmed, he would replace Judge Kenneth Ripple who took senior status in September 2008.

Republican senators have said lawmakers haven't been given enough time to prepare for the hearing. Specifically, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., praised Judge Hamilton's academic and judicial records and said he doesn't necessarily disagree with any of the judge's decisions, but he said more time was needed to review the record - 1,150 written opinions that include 9,500 pages of documents from the judge's tenure on the bench.

Committee Chair Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., and the Democrat-controlled administration have said they're moving quickly in order to foster a bipartisan spirit and set a tone different from the past, when judicial nominations took much longer.

"It has been four weeks since Judge Hamilton first appeared before the committee, and I am disappointed that committee Republicans have yet to ask a single question of this nominee," Leahy said in a statement released Tuesday. "After Judge Hamilton appears again before the committee, I hope Republican members will not further delay our consideration of this qualified judicial nominee."

Judge Hamilton is invited to testify at this second hearing, according to Leahy's statement. The committee plans to also consider the nominations of two others: Thomas E. Perez for assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and Andre Davis for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The hearing will be broadcast live online at the committee's nomination hearing page, and the most current coverage of the nomination process can be found at the Indiana Lawyer Web site at www.theindianalawyer.com.

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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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