Courtroom named in honor of Judge Sarah Evans Barker

July 21, 2016

In recognition of District Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s more than 30 years of service on the federal bench, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has named a courtroom in her honor.

Courtroom 216, where Barker worked for much of her judicial career, in the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis will now carry her name. A resolution signed by the District judges was presented to Judge Barker last week.
“Judge Barker has served the citizens of the Southern District of Indiana with great distinction over the course of her entire legal career,” Chief Judge Richard Young said. “She epitomizes all of the best qualities of a judge: fair, impartial, patent and well-reasoned. I can think of no better way to honor her legacy than to name the courtroom she has presided in since she joined the court 32 years ago after her.”

Barker, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, was the first female federal judge in Indiana.  She started her tenure on March 14, 1984, and served as chief judge from 1994 to 2001.

In addition, she has held numerous appointments and assumed many other duties.

Her time serving on the Judicial Conference of the United States including working on its executive committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Standing Rules Committee, Budget Committee, and Judicial Branch Committee. She was appointed by U.S. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve on the Special Study Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability.

She was also a member of the Devitt Award Selection Committee and served as a member of the Judicial Fellows Commission under the aegis of the Supreme Court.  

Currently, she is serving on the Judicial Conduct and Disability Committee, having been appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts.  She also served a two-year term as president of the 900-plus member Federal Judges Association, composed of Article III judges from across the country, from 2007 until 2009.

On June 30, 2014, Barker assumed senior status but has continued to maintain a full caseload while awaiting the confirmation of her successor.

“All those who enter the Sarah Evans Barker Courtroom in the years to come will reflect on the many contributions Judge Barker has made to the bench, the bar and the wider community,” Young said.

An event celebrating the naming of Judge Barker’s courtroom will be held in the fall, at which time a plaque will be placed inside the courtroom, along with two smaller plaques at the courtroom entrances.


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