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Holcomb files lawsuit to stop emergency powers law; attorney general objects

LATEST: Attorney General Todd Rokita asked a court Friday to strike a lawsuit filed by Gov. Eric Holcomb over a law approved by the Indiana General Assembly, which overrode the governor’s veto. The law involves emergency powers for the governor and the legislature. At issue among the Republican officer holders and the GOP supermajority chambers of the legislature is whether the new law is constitutional and usurps the separation of powers in Indiana government.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has filed a lawsuit over the emergency powers law.

The bill, House Enrolled Act 1123, allows lawmakers to call themselves into special session.

The Republican governor has asked a trial court judge to review the bill and issue a permanent injunction to keep the bill from being used.

“I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the State of Indiana and I have an obligation to do so. This filing is about the future of the executive branch and all the Governors who will serve long after I’m gone,” Holcomb said in a statement.

On April 9, Holcomb vetoed the bill. However, on April 15, the Indiana House and Senate overrode Holcomb’s veto. Both chambers of the legislature have Republican supermajorities.

After Holcomb’s lawsuit was filed, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita on Tuesday afternoon said in a statement that the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that no state agency or office holder can seek a judgment in court against another, but that the “Attorney General exists to resolve such agreements.”

“Allowing state agencies to resort to the judicial system for review of every statute passed would foster legislative irresponsibility and unnecessarily overburden the courts into issuing, essentially, advisory opinions,” said the statement from Rokita, who is also a Republican.