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Holcomb appeals in emergency powers lawsuit against fellow Republicans

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb is appealing a judge’s ruling in his emergency powers lawsuit against the General Assembly.

Legislators passed a law this year, HEA 1123, that gives them the power to call themselves into special session during a public emergency – like the pandemic. Holcomb believes the Indiana Constitution gives that power solely to the governor.

But a Marion County judge sided with lawmakers earlier this month. He said legislators generally get to determine when and for how long they meet – making the new emergency powers law constitutional.

In a statement, Holcomb said he’s appealing the decision because the case is about how the state operates – in a constitutionally-appropriate way – during an emergency. And he said Hoosiers “deserve clarity and finality on this important issue.”

He is appealing the case directly to the Indiana Supreme Court.

This story has been updated.

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.