INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 9, 2014) - As the legal fight over Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, Indiana democrats are requesting information on how much the legal fight is costing Hoosier taxpayers.
In a letter to Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Indiana Democratic Party Chair John Zody makes a public records request for several items:
- Records detailing expenses related to all cases pertaining to the defense of the state’s gay marriage ban.
- Records detailing the hours spent by employees of the Attorney General’s Office on said cases.
- Correspondence between the offices of the Attorney General and Governor regarding those cases.
"Elected officials are elected to administer and execute the priorities of the people of Indiana," Zody told Fox59. "And so I would ask whether the Attorney General feels that this should be his top priority."
Zody argues that the tide is turning in favor of allowing gay marriage, and Indiana's resources could be better spent.
In response to the request, a spokesman for Zoeller's office said the state is spending no more than it would normally be spending on any other cases:
"The effort to defend state laws from plaintiffs' lawyers' lawsuits is covered through the regular AG's Office budget the Legislature approved in advance. This case - only one of approximately 4,000 court cases each year where the AG's Office represents the State - is assigned to a salaried attorney who does not charge billable hours and who would be paid the same regardless of whether plaintiffs' lawyers filed this lawsuit against the State or not."
"Unlike other states that hired expensive outside counsel to defend their laws, the State of Indiana has not paid for outside counsel and instead utilized internal resources to defend our State's law as is our duty. The State government's lawyer will promptly acknowledge this individual's request and work on collecting the information that Indiana law allows us to disclose."