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Judge Denies Rokita Attempt To Prolong Emergency Powers Court Battle

FILE PHOTO: 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 or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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