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Government

Rokita Moves To Stop Holcomb Lawsuit Against General Assembly

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Alan Mbathi
/
IPB News

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita wants Gov. Eric Holcomb’s lawsuit against the General Assembly to stop before it goes any further.

Holcomb sued lawmakers earlier this week over a bill that allows them to call a special session during a public emergency, giving legislators more power to intervene with the governor’s decision-making.

But Rokita said Holcomb isn’t allowed to bring a lawsuit without an OK from the attorney general’s office – and Rokita didn’t give that permission. Indiana law says the state speaks with one voice in court – the attorney general’s. For Holcomb to use private attorneys without authorization, Rokita argued, “[erodes] the state’s defenses.”

The attorney general added that Indiana case law says state officeholders can't ask the courts to weigh in on the constitutionality of statutes. And Rokita further thinks the lawsuit shouldn't advance because there's no reason to rule on its constitutionality at this point – the law hasn't been used.

Additionally, Rokita's motion asking a Marion County court to halt the lawsuit said legislators cannot be sued for the laws they enact.

There is no timetable for how the case will proceed.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.