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Vote expected on Indiana federal magistrate

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A U.S. Senate committee is expected to discuss and vote Thursday on an Indianapolis federal magistrate judge's nomination for a judgeship in the Southern District of Indiana.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will conduct an executive business meeting at 10 a.m. to discuss several nominations, including that of U.S. Magistrate Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson for an Article III judgeship.

President Barack Obama nominated Magistrate Judge Magnus-Stinson in mid-January, along with Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt for a second vacancy in the Southern District and Munster attorney Jon DeGuilio for a Northern District of Indiana opening.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Judge Pratt and DeGuilio March 4. They've been listed on the Senate's calendar, but no time is scheduled for senators to discuss and vote on them.

Senators held off discussion and voting March 4 on Magistrate Magnus-Stinson's nomination because ranking Republican member Sen. Jeff Sessions from Alabama wanted to personally follow up with her before voting.

Stephen Miller, a spokesperson for Sessions, told Indiana Lawyer that the senator had received a response from Magistrate Judge Magnus-Stinson late the night before about questions following her Feb. 11 nomination hearing, and he wanted to meet with her again. The two met Monday, but Miller declined to elaborate on that meeting. However, the online response from Magistrate Judge Magnus-Stinson shows the senator had concerns about her handling of capital cases, the death penalty, and recusal issues she's faced in the past.

If approved by the committee and confirmed by the full senate, Magistrate Magnus-Stinson would take the seat vacated by U.S. Judge Larry McKinney, who took senior status in July 2009. She is listed first on the Senate Judiciary's meeting agenda, and the hearing will be broadcast live on the Senate's Web site.

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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