Judge shreds Rokita and admits the governor’s complaint against the general assembly | Crime and Courts
But then Rokita interfered.
The republican attorney general, originally from Munster, claimed in court files that in disputes between two branches of government, even with constitutional claims, only he is empowered to rule, not the courts.
In this case, Rokita said he agreed with the legislature to put in place an emergency session option. As a result, he said there was no basis for the governor to hire an outside attorney for a lawsuit that is not needed as Rokita has already ruled.
“A fundamental principle of law that has been consistently understood and applied by both state and federal judges for several decades is that Indiana law gives the attorney general the power to determine the state’s position on legal matters – including the constitutionality of the House Enrolled Act 1123, ”argued Rokita.
Not so fast, said Dietrick.
In his 19-page judgment, subtitled “The Attorney General Exaggerates His Role,” Dietrick noted that the governor has a duty to protect the Indiana Constitution and the delegated executive powers that inherently empower the governor to to use all means available, including the courts, to challenge any alleged usurpation of these powers by any other government.
The attorney general, whose office is created by law rather than the constitution, cannot “unilaterally prevent a constitutional officer (the incumbent governor) from taking any of the actions ascribed to him / her by the Indiana Constitution” – especially in the event of separation of power fall, said Dietrick.