Senators still stalling judge's Circuit nomination

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An Indianapolis judge's potential elevation to the federal appeals bench remains controversial even as the full U.S. Senate inches closer to voting on his nomination in the next week.

As legislators prepared to confirm another federal judge's nomination Monday, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he hopes to have a vote on U.S. Judge David F. Hamilton's move to the 7th Circuit on the morning of Nov. 16. Judge Hamilton currently sits on the Southern District of Indiana's bench as chief judge.

The Republican minority wants 30 hours of debate on the judge's nomination, according to Reid, who said Democratic leaders might be forced to cut debate in order to bring a vote to the full legislative body.

Reid said he hopes to reach an agreement with the Republicans on the $134 million military construction legislation. Those negotiations could impact the discussion on Judge Hamilton's vote, and Reid said it would be a shame to invoke the debate-ending procedural move known as cloture.

But it's important to hold confirmation votes for the judicial vacancies soon, before the Senate turns to the sweeping health-care reform legislation before leaving for its Thanksgiving break the following week, Reid said.

His office confirmed this morning that a cloture motion on Judge Hamilton's nomination would likely be filed today, before senators leave for a three-day Veteran's Day break.

Judge Hamilton has been on the District bench since 1994. If confirmed, he would succeed Circuit Judge Kenneth Ripple, who took senior status in September 2008.

President Barack Obama nominated Judge Hamilton in February - the new president's first judicial pick. Though the judge made it through the Senate Judicial Committee in June, he's faced five months of delay as Republican members used rules to hold up a vote before the full Senate.

Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., appeared before the Senate Monday and blasted Republicans for stalling action on Obama's judicial picks, noting that 10 judicial nominees are pending on the calendar and only a few have been confirmed at this point.

"The obstruction and delays in considering President Obama's judicial nominations is especially disappointing given the extensive efforts by President Obama to turn away from the divisive approach taken by the previous administration and to reach out to Senators from both parties as he selects mainstream, well-qualified nominees," Leahy said in a floor statement.


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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.