Tanya Walton Pratt
|Tanya Walton Pratt|
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|United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana|
|Appointed by:||Pres. Barack Obama|
|Preceded by:||David Hamilton|
|Undergraduate:||Spelman College, 1981|
|Law School:||Howard University School of Law, 1984|
- 1 Education
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Judicial career
- 4 Awards and associations
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 References
Tanya Walton Pratt is a judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. She was nominated to the court by President President Obama on January 20, 2010, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 15, 2013. Pratt is the first black judge of the Southern District of Indiana.
- 2010-Present: Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
- 1997-2010: Judge, Marion County Superior Court
- 2009-2010: Probate division
- 1997-2008: Criminal division
Southern District of Indiana
|Candidate:||Tanya Walton Pratt|
|Court:||Southern District of Indiana|
|Progress:||Confirmed 146 days after nomination.|
|Nominated:||January 20, 2010|
|ABA Rating:||Substantial Majority Well Qualified, Minority Qualified|
|Hearing:||February 11, 2010|
|Reported:||March 4, 2010|
|Confirmed:||June 15, 2010|
On January 18, 2010, Pratt was nominated for a federal judgeship for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. She was recommended for the court by Senator Evan Bayh. The seat was vacated when Judge David Hamilton was elevated to the Seventh Circuit. Pratt received a substantial majority rating of Well Qualified and a minority rating of Qualified from the American Bar Association.
Awards and associations
- 2001-2007: Chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday Commission in Indiana
- Member of the Marion Superior Court Executive Committee
- Member of the House of Delegates for the Indiana Bar Association
Vanished student’s parents unable to sue her friends (2014)
The parents of missing college student Lauren Spierer are unable to sue the friends she was with the night she vanished. Robert and Charlene Spierer, parents of Lauren, sued Jay Rosenbaum and Corey Rossman, claiming that the two men were negligent in providing their under-aged daughter with alcohol and then not ensuring she returned home safely.
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt expressed sympathy for the Spierers but dismissed their case, granting Rosenbaum and Rossman’s motion for summary judgment. Judge Pratt stated that the Spierers complaint contained little more than scant allegations lacking evidence upon which to rely. She also stated that a jury would have to make assumptions instead of relying on facts about what happened to Lauren in order to reach a verdict.
Lauren Spierer was last seen in June 2011.
Planned Parenthood case and women's rights in Indiana (2012-2013)United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health, et al., 1:11-cv-630-TWP-TAB)
In June of 2011, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted a preliminary injunction against the state of Indiana from enforcing a law that prohobiting Planned Parenthood from receiving funding from medicaid recipients. The law would also require doctors to "notify women seeking abortions that the fetus can feel pain." The ruling, which was only a temporary injunction and did not overturn the law permanently, was based on the recommendation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which felt that the new Indiana law was contrary to federal law. The notification requirements were blocked as a violation of the doctors' individual right to free speech under the First Amendment. The state appealed the injunction to the Seventh Circuit. On October 23, 2012, the Seventh Circuit affirmed Walton's decision. The injunction was made permanent on July 30, 2013.
Judge rules Indiana prisons' treatment of mentally ill cruel and unusual punishment (2012)United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission v. Indiana Dept. of Correction, No. 08-01317)
Judge Pratt ruled against the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) in regards to the state's treatment of mentally ill inmates. IDOC used solitary confinement in cases of mentally ill inmates, confining them to their cells for between 23 and 24 hours per day. This was a standard practice in the case of any inmate deemed to be a danger to themselves or others, regardless of mental state. In her ruling, Judge Pratt found this practice to constitute cruel and unusual punishment in the case of mentally ill inmates, as they do not receive the minimally acceptable level of care in solitary confinement. Pratt also noted that such confinement often leads to an exacerbation of the mental illness, sometimes resulting in worsening conditions, more violent outbursts, or increased suicide attempts. Perhaps most notably, Pratt's ruling called the practices of IDOC "deliberately indifferent," noting that the department was aware of the issues with their care of the mentally ill but did little or nothing to correct the problem.
- Federal Judicial Center, "Tanya Walton Pratt Biography"
- Indianapolis Star, "Marion County judge could make history," January 18, 2010
- Indy Star, 'Bayh recommends 2 women for U.S. judgeships," January 18, 2010
- White House Press Release, "President Obama Nominates Five to Serve on the United States District Court Bench," January 20, 2010
- Bayh Press Release, "Senator Bayh Makes Historic Judicial Announcements," January 18, 2010
- WIBC, "Two Indianapolis Judges to Be Nominated to Federal Bench," January 18, 2010
- Senate Judiciary Committee, "Judicial Nomination Materials"
- Indianapolis Business Journal, "U.S. Senate confirms Indiana's Pratt as federal judge," June 15, 2010
- Courier Press, "Judge rules state cannot block funding for Planned Parenthood," June 24, 2011
- Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, "Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health, et al.," October 23, 2012
- ACLU, "Medicaid Patients Win Right to Receive Services at Planned Parenthood Clinic," July 30, 2013
- USA Today, "Judge: Indiana violated rights of mentally ill inmates," January 2, 2013
- Indianapolis Star, "Erika D. Smith: Mentally ill prisoners need our attention," January 2, 2013
- The Chicago Post-Tribune, "Judge: Indiana ‘indifferent’ to mentally ill inmates," January 2, 2012
|Southern District of Indiana
|Vacancy Count by Congress|
|Vacancy Count by Year||Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2009 • Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2010 • Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2011 • Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2012|