AG saves taxpayer money

July 25, 2008
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For the second time in a month, the Indiana Attorney General’s office has decided not to appeal court decisions that didn’t come out in its favor regarding new laws.

Earlier this month, the office announced it wouldn’t appeal U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s July 1 ruling that a law requiring bookstores, retailers, and others to register with the state and pay a fee to sell any sexually explicit material was in violation of the First Amendment. Yesterday, nearly a month after another law was struck down in its entirety for being unconstitutionally vague, the AG’s office said it wouldn’t appeal.

On June 24, U.S. District Chief Judge David Hamilton of the Southern District of Indiana struck down portions of a new law requiring all sex offenders – even those who had served their sentence – to be subject to blanket searches of their homes and computers by authorities. The judge ruled that portion of the law was unconstitutional.

Instead of appealing, the attorney general’s office said it will work with legislators this fall to ensure new laws that are passed regarding these issues are effective and constitutional.

The office also noted that part of its latest decision not to appeal was because it would be costly to taxpayers, throwing out a figure of $100,000. It would be especially costly if the state didn’t win its appeal. It’s good to see the attorney general’s office is thinking of the taxpayers and not spending unnecessary money on an appeal they probably wouldn’t win.

Money must be no object when it comes to the legislative prayer suit brought by four taxpayers against Brian Bosma, then-speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, for allowing prayers that were overtly Christian in content.

After two years of litigation – which the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied hearing en banc after dismissing the suit – at least $350,000 has been spent defending the representatives’ right to praise a higher religious power at the start of each House session.

What made the legislative prayer suit worth spending money on as opposed to suits challenging laws that relate to the sex-offender registry or sexually explicit materials? When does the state draw the line and decide it has spent too much pursuing or defending a lawsuit?
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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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