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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. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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