Kirsch sworn in as Circuit Judge, 7th Circuit Court

Federal Judge Thomas L. Kirsch II swearing in
Federal Judge Thomas L. Kirsch being sworn in on December 18, 2020 by United States District Court Judge Jon E. DeGuilio. Courtesy photo.

Department of Justice news release:

United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II Announces Departure from Office
Confirmed by U.S. Senate to Serve as Federal Judge

Hammond, Indiana (December 18, 2020) – United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II announced today that he has resigned from the Department of Justice, effective December 18, 2020, at which time he assumed the duties of a United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit.

Mr. Kirsch was appointed to the position of United States Attorney by President Trump on October 6, 2017.

“I commend Tom Kirsch for his many years of service as United States Attorney and as a member of my Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys. Tom has faithfully led his office in Northern Indiana with integrity and an unrelenting commitment to the rule of law. Under Tom’s leadership, his Office has successfully and aggressively focused on prosecuting violent crimes, especially illegal gang activity in Northwest Indiana, and public corruption. Tom has also been a valuable member of my Advisory Committee of United States Attorney’s since 2019, advising me and the Department of Justice on policy and law enforcement matters. The Department looks forward to Tom’s service to our country as a 7th Circuit Judge,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.

“Thomas Kirsch is a lifelong Hoosier, who has worked to take on public corruption in Indiana, and has led a diverse and exemplary career. I am proud the U.S. Senate has confirmed Mr. Kirsch for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit,” said Senator Mike Braun

“Thomas Kirsch’s qualifications, experience, and temperament will make him the kind of judge that every Hoosier can be proud of. Throughout this process, Kirsch has made it clear that he believes in the rule of law and he understands the role of a judge is to apply the law and Constitution as written. Today, the Senate agreed Thomas Kirsch is the right judge to fill the current vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and I trust he will serve with distinction for years to come,” said Senator [Todd] Young.

“Serving the citizens of Northern Indiana as United States Attorney has been the privilege and honor of a lifetime,” said Mr. Kirsch. “I believe that my Office and the talented and dedicated career civil servants that served along with me are among the best in the country. I am proud of what we have accomplished together over the past several years. I am also very grateful for the professional and hardworking federal, state, and local law enforcement officers serving Northern Indiana. Their impressive work is necessary to the continuing fight to reduce crime. I am looking forward to continuing to serve my county in a new role. I am very thankful for the support and confidence of Senator Young and Senator Braun, and I am thankful to the President for my appointment as United States Attorney and now as a Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit.”

“Thomas Kirsch has served Indiana with distinction and integrity the last three years as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, and proved time and time again his commitment to serving Hoosiers,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan. “I would like to thank him for his dedicated service and wish him the best in this next chapter of his career.”

“While serving as the U.S. Attorney in the in the Northern District of Indiana, Judge Kirsch’s leadership was highly respected among local, state and federal law enforcement,” commented Special Agent in Charge Kristen de Tineo of the Chicago Field Division. “On behalf of the men and women of ATF, we wish him continued success as he serves on the 7th Circuit Appellate Court.”

“Tom Kirsch has admirably served as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, relentlessly working to protect citizens from the effects of drug trafficking and drug-related violence. Although Tom has vigorously prosecuted violent drug trafficking crimes and illegal gang activity, he is compassionate and fair-minded, considering the humanity in all circumstances and ensuring equity in all matters. I am glad that Tom has chosen to remain in public service as a 7th Circuit Judge. The country will continue to benefit from his service,” said Robert J. Bell, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chicago Division.

United States Marshal Todd Nukes said, “As the U.S. Attorney, Tom Kirsch has been the ultimate professional and a man of high integrity. He remained focused and committed to fighting violent crime, drugs, and other offenses for the safety of the people in Northern Indiana.”

During his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Mr. Kirsch served as the chief federal law enforcement officer in the Northern District of Indiana, which includes 32 of the State’s 92 counties, with offices in Hammond, South Bend, and Fort Wayne. As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Kirsch oversaw the investigation and prosecution of all federal criminal violations in the Northern District of Indiana and represented the United States in all civil litigation occurring in the District. The U.S. Attorney’s Office focuses on prosecuting violent crime, drug related crime, and white collar offenses, in addition to civil and appellate litigation in federal courts.

Some of the more notable cases and accomplishments during Mr. Kirsch’s tenue are the prosecution of United States v. Samantha Elhassani, who received 78 months imprisonment for financing the ISIS terrorist group; the public corruption prosecution and guilty plea in United States v. Joseph Stahura, who was the former mayor of Whiting, Indiana; the prosecution of United States v. Jerimiah Farmer, a Latin King who was sentenced to life imprisonment for a double homicide committed in furtherance of gang activity; the gang prosecution of United States v. Ivan Reyes and Jeron Williams, Latin Count gang members who pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admitted their involvement in the homicides of Lauren Calvillo and Christopher White; the prosecution of United States v. Eric Weiler, who was sentenced to 60 years in prison for production of child pornography and explosives; the prosecution of United States v. Jay Joshi for illegally prescribing opioids; the prosecution of United States v. Allen Bates and many others, a multi-defendant drug and organized crime case involving the seizure of more than 120 kilograms of cocaine, several kilograms of heroin, numerous vehicles, and approximately $6.3 million in cash; and the prosecution of United States v Eric Krieg, who was sentenced to 29 years in prison for his role in an explosion that occurred at the Post Office in East Chicago, Indiana.

During Mr. Kirsch’s tenure as United States Attorney, his Office indicted over 640 firearms cases and prosecuted over 50 gang members on racketeering-related charges, including members of the Latin Kings, Latin Counts, Latin Dragons, Imperial Gangers, and Two Six Nation street gangs, obtaining convictions in numerous cases involving cold case gang homicides committed in Northern Indiana and neighboring jurisdictions. Also during his tenure, his Office’s Civil Division collected approximately $8.8 million in criminal restitution, $622,000 in criminal fines, and $17.4 million in civil actions, totaling more than $26 million collected on behalf of the government. As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Kirsch oversaw the expansion of both the Criminal and Civil Divisions, adding more prosecutors and staff to work cases in the District.

Prior to becoming United States Attorney, Mr. Kirsch was a partner at the international law firm, Winston & Strawn LLP. Before joining Winston & Strawn, Mr. Kirsch served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Indiana from 2001-2008. In 2006 and 2007, while on detail from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Kirsch served as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Policy in Washington, DC. Prior to serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Kirsch served as a law clerk to the Honorable John D. Tinder in the Southern District of Indiana.

Mr. Kirsch has received numerous local and national awards, including the Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance and awards from The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, Law360, and Benchmark Litigation. Mr. Kirsch is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Kirsch received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science in 1996 from Indiana University and a J.D. in 1999 from Harvard Law School.

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