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Hoosier Citizen Sues Indiana Lawmakers Over Emergency Powers Measure

Indiana lawmakers have now been sued twice in a week over a law that allows them to call themselves into special session during a public emergency.

Indiana lawmakers have now been sued twice in a week over a law that allows them to call themselves into special session during a public emergency. ( Brandon Smith/IPB News)

There’s another lawsuit seeking to strike down a new Indiana law that gives lawmakers more power to act during a public emergency.

Gov. Eric Holcomb sued lawmakers over that measure earlier this week. Now, a Hoosier citizen has done the same.

John Whitaker, former special counsel to Gov. Bob Orr, filed the latest suit. He said recently-passed House Bill 1123 unconstitutionally allows lawmakers to call themselves into special session during a public emergency.

Whitaker said because the current emergency – COVID-19 – is still ongoing, it’s vital for courts to decide now whether the measure is constitutional and avoid confusion.

Attorney General Todd Rokita recently moved to halt the lawsuit brought by Holcomb in this issue. He argued, in part, that Holcomb isn’t allowed to sue the legislature. Whitaker’s case would avoid that hurdle.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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