Senate votes on federal magistrate's nomination

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By now, Indiana may have its newest federal judge in the Southern District of Indiana.

The U.S. Senate was scheduled to vote on the confirmation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson at 5:30 p.m. June 7, which came after the deadline for this story. Confirmation approval meant that a woman who’s been on the federal bench for more than three years as a magistrate would be promoted to a constitutionally created Article III judgeship.

This news came almost five months after President Barack Obama nominated her for the federal post, following last summer’s change when U.S. Judge Larry McKinney took senior status. She had notified Indiana’s Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh about her interest in the spot last November, and her nomination in January came at the same time the president chose Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt for a Southern District vacancy and Jon DeGuilio for a judgeship in the Northern District of Indiana.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved all three nominations in March. Following the recent legislative action, only Judge Pratt awaits a potential date for a confirmation vote. Senators unanimously confirmed DeGuilio May 11 to fill the seat occupied by U.S. Judge Allen Sharp until his death last summer.
Spokesman Brian Weiss in Bayh’s office in Washington, D.C., said at IL deadline that there was no indication when senators might turn to the nomination of Judge Pratt, who would fill an opening left by Judge David F. Hamilton when he was elevated to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

With a possible green light for Magistrate Magnus-Stinson, the Southern District would have to fill the magistrate spot left open by her elevation. She left the Marion Superior bench in early 2007 following the retirement of U.S. Magistrate Judge V. Sue Shields, and a new vacancy would mean a merit-selection committee would be named to choose a new magistrate.

Prior to the senators’ final vote on Magistrate Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge Richard Young said that if she received confirmation he hoped the process to find a new magistrate would begin quickly and that a successor could be chosen by the fall.

The most current coverage on this nomination process and confirmation vote can be found online at the Indiana Lawyer website,•


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.