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Holcomb preaches calm after court loss over emergency powers law

Brandon Smith
IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb said he’s evaluating all his options after a major loss in his legal battle with state lawmakers.

A county judge Thursday ruled a new law that allows the legislature to call itself into session during a public emergency is constitutional.

Holcomb has argued the governor has the sole authority to call a special session of the legislature. And he said the new law passed by the General Assembly violates the separation of powers.

But Marion County Judge Patrick Dietrick disagreed. He said lawmakers largely have the right to determine when and for how long they meet – including for an emergency session created by the new law.

Holcomb said his initial reaction is one of calm.

“Let’s take a deep breath. Let’s review this," Holcomb said. "We’re going to be very methodical, very thoughtful.”

The governor can appeal the ruling directly to the Indiana Supreme Court. And Holcomb said wanting an answer to the fundamental, constitutional question from that ultimate authority will play into his decision.

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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