Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Judge Tinder Tapped By Bush For 7th Circuit

President Bush chose federal district court Judge John Tinder of Indianapolis to take Judge Daniel Manion's place on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. I think Bush will get high marks from the Indiana legal community for choosing the well-respected Tinder. The question is whether the Democratic-controlled Senate will give him a similar reception. It looks like a lot of Bush's judicial nominees are hitting a roadblock in the Senate. As he nears the end of his second term, I suspect that's only going to get worse. Democrats have every incentive to hold up these open positions until after next year's presidential race when they hope a Democrat will recapture the White House.

Josh Claybourn posted an interview of Judge Tinder last year in which he shares a personal side of himself. You can find that interview here. He generally steered away from any ideological or controversial statements in the interview. I did find the following quote from him of interest and one that some members of the Senate Judiciary Committee may ask him to elaborate on during his confirmation hearing: "There have been some ugly indications in recent years that certain members of Congress do not understand the role of federal courts in our three coequal branch system of government. The challenge may lie in how these courts are affected as a result of these misunderstandings, in terms of budget, jurisdiction, etc." I took Tender's comment as a criticism of attempts by conservative members like former Rep. John Hostettler and Rep. Mike Pence to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over some hot button social issues.


Anonymous said...

As I recall Manion was the son of Notre Dame (I think) Law School Dean Clarence Manion, who was quite a right wing ideologue who seemed to be on the radio a lot. The younger Manion was criticized as a lightweight when nominated, but it appears he got high marks from his Seventh Circuit colleagues in later years. Any information on why he's leaving that court?

Anonymous said...

I can attest from personal experience appearing before him in several appeals that Manion is and always has been out of his depth on the 7th Circuit, and extremely ideological. The only conceivable reason he is leaving is to give Bush a chance to appoint his replacement. Judge Tinder is as good a pick as one could hope for from the Republican district court bench, but I also wouldn't blame Senate Democrats for shutting down the confirmation process until Bush is gone, given his sorry track record of nominating right-wing extremists and the likelihood of a Democratic President in 2009.

Anonymous said...

8:46 just hit it out of the park.

Manion is a card-carrying Bircher who should never have bene nominated. But he was. And confirmed.

Tinder is a great guy. I know Lugar pushed his name heavily.

But this White House, with its dismal Justice Dept. record, deserves any pushbakc it gets from the D-controlled Senate.

Anonymous said...

Can those of you with Indiana experience give your estimation of Tinder's ideology? SHOULD the Democrats in the senate try to keep him off the 7th circuit?

Anonymous said...

Personally, Judge Tinder is a compassionate, friendly, soft spoken man.

Ideologically, he's middle-right. I believe he is a strong proponent of the concept of prior precedent being upheld absent strong evidence to the contrary...what's the Latin term for that, Gary...?

I think he's a strong Catholic, so I don't know how that would affect his decisions on life issues. He'd be more likely to come across one of those cases in an appeals court than in the Southern Indiana district court.

I'm surprised he'd take this job and move to Chicago (is that required?). But, his children are grown. Maybe he's ready for a challenge and some changes.

Overall, he's a true gentleman. Smart. And I know he admires Justices Ginsberg and Scalia, for different reasons.

Sounds reasoned & practical to me.
For all judicial nominees, I hope the Senate asks tougher questions than they did of the last two Supremes. That was pathetic, and the nominees bold-faced lied regarding precedent, especially the Chief.

Scary thought of the day: Harriet Miers was this close to eing a Supreme. Yikes. Stupid to nominate her, stupid for her to consider it...

Anonymous said...

I have appeared before Judge Tinder on numerous occasions and can state without reservation that he would be a welcomed addition to the 7th Circuit. While we are not of the same political stripe (I am much further to the left), I never thought that ideology was making the decision.

As mentioned above, he does embrace stare decisis. On the other hand, having been in the position to have to argue "novel" but well reasoned legal approaches before him, he considered the arguments respectfully and on occasion went with them.

More importantly, he has a healty scepticism of the power of the executive branch, whether in federal, state or local government. While he may rule in the executive's favor, he also has no problem ruling against it when the law suggests it appropriate.

As for the moving issue, he can keep chambers in Indianapolis if he so chooses (Manion kept his chambers in South Bend).

I think this is a good choice for Indiana and the 7th Circuit. I can understand my fellow Democrats in the Senate blocking many of this President's nominations, given his track record. I hope, however, they see this one for the good it brings. Now that Sen. Lugar set the table, perhaps it is now Sen. Bayh's turn to close the deal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that note on his ideology. If Tinder is confirmed, he'll get chambers in Chicago, but need not move there. Of the non-Ill judges on CA7 (sorry if I'm missing some), Manion, Kanne, and Ripple all continue to live in Indiana and Sykes and Evans still live in Wisconsin. They just come to Chicago for arguments.

Anonymous said...

I take objection to the idea that Judge Manion was "out of his depth on the 7th Circuit, and extremely ideological." I too had significant personal experience with Judge Manion's work on the Court and found him to be thorough and his opinions to be well-researched and reasonable.