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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Ind. Courts - 7th Circuit Judge David Hamilton makes his home in Bloomington

From the Indiana Daily Student, this story - some quotes:

The oversized heads of U.S. Supreme Court justices bob up and down on a shelf in Judge David Hamilton’s office. The tchotchkes made to look like Sandra Day O’Connor, Stephen G. Breyer and Clarence Thomas smile out at the room where Hamilton sits poring over cases for the United States District Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The decorations were gifts from his wife, Inge Van der Cruysse. Hamilton’s favorite is the one of his personal hero, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

“He’s a brilliant man, fair-minded, intelligent and very, very thoughtful,” he explained.

The light-filled office, located on the second floor of the Maurer School of Law building, also holds some more impressive decorations, such as photos of Hamilton talking to former President Bill Clinton and with President Barack Obama.

Clinton nominated Hamilton to be a judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in 1994, a time Hamilton remembers fondly.

“I got to spend those 14 years in a dream job,” he said. “For somebody like me who loves the give and take in the law, it’s a combination of responsibility and power and opportunity with the resources to do the job well that gave me a lot of satisfaction. We have the luxury in the legal profession of waking up every morning and going to work and knowing your job is to do the right thing today.”

Hamilton’s second federal appointment was much more high profile due to the fact that he was Obama’s very first judicial nominee in 2009.

“The process of nomination and confirmation can be a pretty wild ride in a sense because the nominee has so little influence on the process,” he said. “Because I was nominated first, I became the focus of a lot of political attention, and my nomination became very controversial.” * * *

Though most federal court judges work in federal courthouses, Hamilton made an unconventional move when he decided to move his court’s chambers to Bloomington. The court was relocated in 2010. Only a few other judges in the country have made similar decisions.

“The work that I do is fairly isolating,” he said explaining the move. “We can’t talk outside the office about the cases that have to be decided. So the opportunity to spend a lot of time with students and faculty here is a big plus for me. We love the Bloomington community.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 4, 2015 01:49 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts