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AG, Holcomb ask Indiana high court to decide on emergency powers law

Rokita and Holcomb have been on separate sides of an argument over a new law. Now they both agree the state Supreme Court should take up the dispute.

INDIANAPOLIS — Editor's Note: The above video is from a previous report about a judge upholding the new Indiana emergency powers law after it was challenged by Gov. Holcomb. 

Indiana's emergency law saga continues, this time with both sides agreeing that the state Supreme Court should review the lawsuit Gov. Eric Holcomb filed against the state Legislature over a new law that gives legislators more power to intervene during public health emergencies. 

At issue is a law that allows legislative leaders to call the General Assembly into what it calls an “emergency session.” The attorney general’s office argues that urgent court action isn't needed because the “emergency session” procedure hasn’t been used yet. 

The law has caused a tangled legal battle between the General Assembly and the Governor, who's suing the General Assembly after it overrode his veto of the bill.

Attorney General Todd Rokita has been highly critical of Holcomb's attempts to block the law and has made a concerted effort to stop the lawsuit, at one point insisting his office should resolve the dispute between the two branches of government and that he alone has the legal authority to decide whether the new law is allowed under the state constitution. A judge swiftly denied Rokita's argument. 

He also filed a 22-page court brief that he said reiterated what the proper limits are to the governor's authority and later asked the state Supreme Court to permanently stall the lawsuit, this request was denied in a unanimous 5-0 decision.  

Now, it seems Rokita and Holcomb are on the same page about having the Indiana Supreme Court take up the dispute. 

The attorney general’s office said in a court filing late Monday that it supports the Supreme Court taking over the case after a Marion County judge upheld the law last month. The judge decided the General Assembly has the authority to determine when it will meet.  

After reviewing the ruling, Holcomb's lawyers filed an appeal asking the Indiana Supreme Court to take up the case in order to get “clarity and finality on this important issue.”

It's unclear at this point when and if the Supreme Court will take up the lawsuit, allowing both branches of government to have their day in court.

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