Gov. Holcomb considering next steps after judge’s ruling on emergency powers suit

IN Focus: Indiana Politics

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Eric Holcomb says he and his attorneys are considering their next steps after a Marion County judge ruled against him in his legal battle with the Indiana General Assembly.

Holcomb has been trying to block a new law, passed earlier this year by a veto override, that allows the legislature to call itself into special session during an emergency.

Holcomb believes only the governor has the power to make that call.

“This was always a respectful disagreement with the legislature,” Holcomb said Friday.

Holcomb said he and his legal team are still working to decide whether to appeal the ruling, adding he is staying “open-minded” about his options.

“We are going to review it, and we’ll contemplate what steps we might follow,” Holcomb said.

“It was a real win for the people,” said Attorney General Todd Rokita. “That’s what this has always been about.”

Rokita said he and his team are prepared to continue arguing on the state legislature’s behalf if the ruling is appealed.

“My hope is, the best thing is that he just lets it die, we got the answer, let’s go about the real issues here and go about the people’s business,” Rokita said, pointing out the ruling does not block the governor’s ability to call the legislature into special session.

Rokita said it’s possible the lawsuit could eventually make its way to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Some attorneys believe that’s likely.

“It goes to the fundamental role of our government,” explained Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, an attorney who serves as editor and publisher of IndyPolitics.Org. “It’s who has the ability to call the legislature in. Does the governor have it? Does the legislature have it? Do they both have it?”

If the governor does indeed file an appeal, the court battle could play out for a few more months before a final decision is reached, Shabazz said.

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