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No issue with all legislative logrolling

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

The Indiana Supreme Court offered some clues recently about why it’s ignored repeated attempts to address the issue of legislative logrolling, where multiple unrelated changes are stuffed into one massive bill that becomes law.

In a June 29 decision in Andre Peoples v. State of Indiana, No. 79S02-0912-CR-549, the court inserted some language that could serve as a warning to anyone who might want to challenge non-budget items being inserted into large budget bills – something that has caused controversy in the past.

Justice Frank Sullivan wrote for the unanimous court and tackled the criminal case, involving legislation about how three unrelated felonies of any kind could be eligible for enhanced sentences for a habitual offender. The ruling touched on a special rule enacted during a budget bill conference committee in 2001 that limited the use of certain substance offenses in making those kinds of enhancements.

“Because the 2001 amendment was contained in the bill enacting the biennial state budget, the change may have reflected a concern over the fiscal impact of incarcerating drug offenders,” the court wrote, noting that the original law was written in 1977 and that “It is not surprising that the provisions do not mesh perfectly.”

Those references to logrolling and the language used in describing the legislative action indicates that the court found no problem with the unrelated statutory language found in the budget bill, and that it even found on its own initiative a valid reason as to why it may have wended its way in there. Some have interpreted this to mean that any future challenge about logrolling could be struck down if the court sees a valid reason for the resulting law.
 

Rehearing on "Finding focus in laws" IL Oct. 28-Nov. 10, 2009

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  1. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

  2. As an adoptive parent, I have to say this situation was as shameful as it gets. While the state government opens its wallet to the Simons and their friends, it denied payments to the most vulnerable in our state. Thanks Mitch!

  3. We as lawyers who have given up the range of First amendment freedom that other people possess, so that we can have a license to practice in the courts of the state and make gobs of money, that we agree to combat the hateful and bigoted discrimination enshrined in the law by democratic majorities, that Law Lord Posner has graciously explained for us....... We must now unhesitatingly condemn the sincerely held religious beliefs of religiously observant Catholics, Muslims, Christians, and Jewish persons alike who yet adhere to Scriptural exhortations concerning sodomites and catamites..... No tolerance will be extended to intolerance, and we must hate the haters most zealously! And in our public explanations of this constitutional garbledygook, when doing the balancing act, we must remember that the state always pushes its finger down on the individualism side of the scale at every turn and at every juncture no matter what the cost to society.....to elevate the values of a minority over the values of the majority is now the defining feature of American "Democracy..." we must remember our role in tricking Americans to think that this is desirable in spite of their own democratically expressed values being trashed. As a secular republic the United States might as well be officially atheist, religious people are now all bigots and will soon be treated with the same contempt that kluckers were in recent times..... The most important thing is that any source of moral authority besides the state be absolutely crushed.

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