7th Circuit Court

Tinder Confirmed for 7th Circuit; Senator Raises Concern


The U.S. Senate has confirmed U.S. District Judge John Daniel Tinder of Indiana for a seat on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The vote was unanimous for Tinder, who had the backing of both of Indiana’s senators, the Indianapolis Star reports. “Throughout John’s career, his reputation for personal courtesy, fairness, decency and integrity was equally well-earned and widespread among colleagues and opposing counsel alike and on both sides of the political aisle,” said Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

Tinder will replace Judge Daniel Manion, who is taking senior status. Tinder has been a federal judge since 1987 and previously served as a U.S. attorney. He received a rating of well-qualified (PDF) from the ABA.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., released a statement noting Tinder’s distinguished government service but raising questions about his answer to a question regarding presidential signing statements.

“I asked Judge Tinder if an alleged violation of the law prohibiting cruel, inhuman, and degrading conduct by American personnel were to come before a court, would it be appropriate for that court to consider the president’s signing statement as legislative history, in addition to the text of law itself,” the release says. “I am troubled by Judge Tinder’s answer that he is open to looking at signing statements as a tool for determining the meaning of a statute.”

A hat tip to the American Constitution Society Blog, which posted the statement.

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