Thursday, September 29, 2016
Ind. Courts - "Ceremony Today to Name the Sarah Evans Barker Courtroom"
Judge Barker is only the third judge in the 111 year history of the courthouse to occupy what was formerly known as Courtroom 216 on a full-time basis. In September 1905, the travelling United States Circuit Court for the District of Indiana originally and sparingly used the courtroom, until the abolition of the circuit courts by Congress in 1911. From 1911 until 1925, the courtroom sat vacant, as the sole judge who served the U.S. District Court for the District of Indiana occupied the companion courtroom down the hallway. That courtroom is named in honor of the late Judge William E. Steckler.
In 1925, the District of Indiana received authorization for a second judgeship, which position was filled by Judge Thomas W. Slick, who occupied Courtroom 216. That arrangement lasted only three years, due to Congress’s decision in 1928 to divide the District of Indiana into separate Northern and Southern Districts. The new U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana was authorized a single judgeship, and that judge, Robert C. Baltzell, continued to occupy the Steckler Courtroom. Judge Slick moved to the Northern District of Indiana, leaving Courtroom 216 vacant once more. The courtroom remained empty until a new judgeship was created 1954, which was filled by the appointment of Cale J. Holder. Judge Holder's term extended over nearly 30 years, until his death in 1983.
In March of 1984, President Ronald Reagan, with the support of then-United States Senators from Indiana Richard G. Lugar and Dan Quayle, appointed Judge Barker to the bench to fill the vacancy created by Judge Holder’s death. Judge Barker became the first woman appointed as a federal judge in Indiana and immediately took up occupancy of the courtroom the now and forevermore bears her name.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 29, 2016 03:55 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts