Indiana governor’s lawyers push challenge to emergency law

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Lawyers for Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb are deriding the state attorney general’s arguments that he can block the governor from asking the courts to stop a new law giving legislators more authority to intervene during public emergencies.

Holcomb’s lawyers maintain in a new court filing that Attorney General Todd Rokita is making “absurd” arguments that he alone has the legal authority to represent the state in court and can decide whether the new law is constitutional.

The legal dispute between the two Republicans stems from Holcomb’s lawsuit arguing that the law passed this spring by the GOP-dominated Legislature is unconstitutional because it gives lawmakers a new power to call themselves into a special legislative session during emergencies declared by the governor.

Holcomb’s lawyers said in Monday’s Marion County court filing that the governor’s office was created by the state constitution to head the executive branch, while the attorney general was created by state law and can’t supersede the authority of the governor or the courts.

Rokita’s office didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment Tuesday.