On July 14, 2016, in recognition of District Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s more than 32 years of devoted service to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and the wider community, Chief Judge Richard L. Young announced that Courtroom 216 at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse has been named in Judge Barker’s honor.
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 on March 14, 1984. She was the first woman appointed to the federal court in Indiana, filling the vacancy created by the death of Cale J. Holder. Judge Barker assumed senior status on June 30, 2014, but has maintained a full caseload while awaiting the confirmation of her successor.
During her years on the Court, Judge Barker has held numerous appointments and assumed many other duties. She served as Chief Judge from 1994-2001, and has served terms on the Judicial Conference of the United States and its Executive Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Standing Rules Committee, Budget Committee, and Judicial Branch Committee (ex-officio). She was appointed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve on the Special Study Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability (the “Breyer Committee”). She was a member of the Devitt Award Selection Committee and served as a member of the Judicial Fellows Commission under the aegis of the Supreme Court. She is currently serving on the Judicial Conduct and Disability Committee, having been appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts. She also served a two-year term as President of the 900-plus member Federal Judges Association, composed of Article III Judges from across the country, from 2007 until 2009.
Chief Judge Richard L. Young remarked on behalf of the court, “Judge Barker has served the citizens of the Southern District of Indiana with great distinction over the course of her entire legal career. She epitomizes all of the best qualities of a judge: fair, impartial, patient, and well-reasoned. I can think of no better way to honor her legacy than to name the courtroom she has presided in since she joined the court 32 years ago after her. All those who enter the Sarah Evans Baker Courtroom in the years to come will reflect on the many contributions Judge Barker has made to the bench, the bar, and the wider community.”
An event celebrating the naming of Judge Barker’s courtroom will be held in the fall, at which time a plaque will be placed inside the courtroom, along with two smaller plaques at the courtroom entrances.
A resolution signed by the district judges was presented to Judge Barker on July 14, a copy of which can be viewed on the court’s website.