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Senate to vote on Judge Pratt Tuesday

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The U.S. Senate plans to vote on a Marion Superior judge’s nomination for the federal bench on Tuesday, according to a spokesman in Sen. Evan’s Bayh’s office.

LathropPratt

Senators agreed Thursday to consider the nomination of Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, whom the president chose in January for the Southern District of Indiana to succeed Judge David F. Hamilton. Judge Hamilton was elevated to the federal appeals bench late last year.

A roll-call vote is expected about 11:50 a.m. Tuesday, according to spokesman Brian Weiss in Bayh’s office in Washington, D.C. Whether senators will discuss her nomination or proceed directly to a vote hasn’t yet been determined.

If confirmed, Judge Pratt would be the first African-American judge on the state’s federal bench. She currently presides over the Marion Superior Probate Division, and has been in that role since serving a criminal division judge from 1997 through 2008, where she handled major felonies and presided over 20 to 35 jury trials a year. Judge Pratt was first elected in 1996, but had served as a master commissioner in Marion Superior Court since 1993 after practicing privately.

This would be the final of three confirmations for Indiana’s federal bench, all of which President Barack Obama announced in January. Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, a magistrate judge who joined the court in 2007 from Marion Superior Court. The president signed her commission this week. Senators in May confirmed banking attorney Jon DeGuilio for a seat on the federal bench in the Northern District of Indiana.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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