July 20, 2021

Judge Denies Rokita Attempt To Prolong Emergency Powers Court Battle

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Attorney General Todd Rokita has lost in court three times over a 2021 emergency powers law.  - FILE: Alan Mbathi/IPB News

Attorney General Todd Rokita has lost in court three times over a 2021 emergency powers law.

FILE: Alan Mbathi/IPB News

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s effort to prolong a court battle over an emergency powers law was prevented by a Marion County judge Tuesday.

Judge P.J. Dietrick denied Rokita’s request to appeal an earlier ruling.

Gov. Eric Holcomb sued the General Assembly earlier this year, wanting the courts to strike down a law, HB 1123, that allows legislators to call themselves into session during a public emergency.

Rokita wants to stop the lawsuit. To do so, he argued Holcomb can’t sue the legislature without Rokita’s say-so. But Judge Dietrick disagreed, ruling against the attorney general.

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Rokita wanted to appeal that decision. But since that appeal comes while the underlying case is still proceeding, the trial court judge – Dietrick – can block it, which he did Tuesday.

Now, the case will move forward to a hearing on the actual issue in the case – whether the emergency powers law is unconstitutional. That’s scheduled for September.

There is another lawsuit over the emergency powers law, filed by a Hoosier citizen. Rokita has already lost once in that case, in a bid to delay it.

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

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