Indy law firm partner tapped for ‘judicial emergency’ post

(WISH Photo, file)

WASHINGTON (WISH) — A partner in an Indianapolis law firm has been nominated to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.

A news release from President Donald Trump’s office said James R. Sweeney II was nominated “to fill a judicial emergency” on the Southern District court.

Sweeney is a partner in the Indianapolis office of Barnes & Thornburg, the release said. Before joining Barnes & Thornburg in 1999, Sweeney served as a law clerk to Judge James L. Ryan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and also to Judge John D. Tinder of the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

He is a combat veteran of the Marine Corps, where he retired at the rank of colonel. He received his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and his law degree from Notre Dame.

Vice President Mike Pence said in the news release he applauded the nomination.

The Associated Press reported, if Sweeney is confirmed by the Senate, he would fill a full-time judge vacancy that opened up when Judge Sarah Evans Barker stepped down in 2014.

President Barack Obama nominated Deputy U.S. Attorney Winfield Ong for the position in early 2016, but the Senate never took a confirmation vote, AP said.