Senators seeking applications after Springmann announces senior status

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

Indiana’s senators are taking applications for an upcoming judicial vacancy after Northern District Court Chief Judge Theresa Lazar Springmann announced she will soon take senior status.

Springmann is set to take senior status in January 2021, according to a press release issued by Sen. Todd Young’s office. She was appointed to the Northern District of Indiana Court in 2003 by President George W. Bush.

A representative for the Northern District Court declined to comment on Thursday’s announcement.

The president makes judicial nominations with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, as required by the Constitution. Traditionally, senators make recommendations to the White House for their respective states. Young and Sen. Mike Braun, Republicans who have supported President Donald Trump’s judicial nominations, will solicit the applications and submit the candidates.

“President Trump has kept his promise to nominate judges who will interpret the Constitution as it was written and I look forward to helping him find another well-qualified Hoosier to serve our country,” Braun said in a statement.  

Individuals interested in applying for the judicial position must submit two physical copies of the application to Young’s Indianapolis office. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Dec. 9 and should be sent to 251 N. Illinois St., Ste. 120, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

“One of my first priorities when I came to the Senate was finding the best legal minds in Indiana to fill federal judicial vacancies in our state,” Young said in a statement. “The five outstanding nominees we recommended to President Trump are today serving on the bench, and now we have another opportunity to appoint a faithful Constitutionalist to Indiana’s Northern District Court. I encourage all qualified Hoosiers to apply.”

Two other Northern District Court vacancies were filled this year following judges Joseph Van Bokkelen and Robert Miller Jr. taking senior status in 2017 and 2016, respectively.

Damon Leichty, who was a partner in the South Bend office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, was confirmed to the federal bench in July 2019 after being nominated by Trump in July 2018 to fill the seat vacated by Miller.

Holly Brady, a former attorney at Haller & Colvin PC, became the second woman, after Springmann, to join the Northern District bench in April after she was nominated to fill the seat formerly held by Van Bokkelen.

Meanwhile in the Southern District, Judge James Sweeney ascended to the bench in 2018 after Judge Sarah Evans Barker took senior status in 2014, while Judge J.P. Hanlon succeeded now-Senior Judge William Lawrence earlier this year. 

Trump has also filled an Indiana vacancy on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, naming Notre Dame Law professor Amy Coney Barrett to the appellate bench in 2017.

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