INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A judge is letting Indiana's governor proceed with a lawsuit challenging the increased power state legislators have given themselves to intervene during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Marion County judge's ruling rejects arguments from Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita that he alone has the legal authority to represent the state in court and can decide whether the new law is allowed under the state constitution.
The judge wrote that such an interpretation would give the attorney general greater power than Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in protecting the governor's constitutional powers. The judge said that would be "an absurd result."
On Tuesday afternoon in response to the judge's order, Rokita released the following statement.
The Attorney General’s Office has fought for the liberties of the people of Indiana for decades, using the very same precedents this court has now upended. The constitution belongs not to the Governor, the legislature, or the Attorney General, but to the people of Indiana. If left unchallenged, the court’s order in this case threatens to tip the balance of powers and undermine the individual liberties of the citizens of this state. As such, we have filed an appeal in the interest of protecting Hoosiers.