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Obama Nominates Hoosier Judges Selby, Ong For Federal Positions

Joe Gratz

President Obama has nominated two Hoosiers to fill federal judicial vacancies.

Obama is asking the Senate to confirm former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Myra Selby to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Chicago-based court hears appeals from Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Selby became the first woman and the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court when then-Gov. Evan Bayh appointed her in 1995.

She's been in private practice since leaving the court in 1999.

Judge John Tinder, an Indiana native, retired from the Seventh Circuit last year.

The President has also nominated Assistant U.S. Attorney Winfield Ong to serve on the federal court District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Ong would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Sarah Evans Barker.

Ong has been a federal prosecutor for 27 years, with the exception of a one-year break in the mid-'90s.

He currently heads the Indianapolis office's criminal division, and led the successful prosecution of Indianapolis financier Tim Durham on charges of defrauding investors out of millions of dollars.

Obama has yet to nominate a new U.S. Attorney for Indianapolis to replace Joe Hogsett, who stepped down in 2014 to prepare for his successful campaign for mayor of Indianapolis.

There’s also a vacancy to fill in Fort Wayne, where Judge Robert Miller has retired.