INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric Holcomb has filed an appeal to a judge’s ruling that upheld the increased power Indiana legislators gave themselves to intervene during public health emergencies.
Earlier this month, a Marion County judge ruled that the state constitution gave the General Assembly the authority to determine when and for how long it will meet. The judge wrote that the Legislature wasn’t limited to meeting just during its annual sessions that begin in early January and adjourn by the end of April.
Holcomb contends in his lawsuit that the constitution allows only the governor to call the Legislature into a special session later in the year. Holcomb’s lawsuit argued that the law passed this spring over his veto violates the constitution by giving legislative leaders the authority to call lawmakers into an “emergency session” when the governor has declared a statewide emergency.
“This lawsuit is about making sure that state government operates the way our constitution outlines,” Holcomb said in a statement. “The proper functioning of our state government is critical, especially during times of emergency. Our State, and its people, deserve clarity and finality on this important issue, which is why I am filing an appeal today.”
Republican legislators advanced the law following criticism from conservatives over a statewide mask mandate and other COVID-19 restrictions that Holcomb imposed by executive order.