STATEWIDE–A judge in Marion County is upholding a state law that lets the General Assembly call itself into special session during public emergencies.
Governor Holcomb had challenged the law, arguing it violates Indiana’s Constitution. The judge didn’t agree with that argument. If Holcomb wants to appeal it further, he can take the case to the Indiana Supreme Court.
This legislation was all brought up because of Holcomb’s COVID-19 emergency order.
In an interview with 93 WIBC’s Tony Katz Friday morning, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita called the ruling “a win for Hoosiers.”
“It’s quite clear that separation of powers is there for a reason. In order to preserve individual liberty, you need to decentralize and separate as much power as you can. The governor might have an opinion about what’s constitutional, but that doesn’t mean that the governor has a right to sue. Think of the company GM. You never see Buick suing Chevy, just like you shouldn’t see the governor and the General Assembly suing each other,” said Rokita.
Rokita is still upset that Holcomb chose to use outside counsel for this case.
“The people of Indiana have already paid for their attorney and that’s my office. So there’s still that lingering question. I imagine the Governor has run up about $200,000 in legal fees and the question is why? The statutes are clear that the attorney general is the attorney for the state,” said Rokita.
Last month, a judge said the governor can use outside lawyers in the case. Rokita said he warned Holcomb that taking this matter to court was not a good idea.
“My staff and I spoke to him several times. We wrote a 16 page, very nice letter saying here are all the reasons why (it’s not a good idea). He wrote a one-page response saying, ‘Democratic retired judge Frank Sullivan said it’s okay, so we’re going to do it,” said Rokita.
Rokita expects this matter to go to the Indiana Supreme Court.
“But it would end at the Indiana Supreme Court. This is completely a state issue. There is no federal question here that would move it to a federal court or anything like that,” said Rokita.
LISTEN: Full interview with Todd Rokita