Justices voted 5-0 Thursday to deny both a writ of prohibition and writ of mandamus requested by Terre Haute attorney James Bopp Jr., who represents the man who'd won the Nov. 6 mayoral election.
Republican Duke Bennett won by 106 votes and was challenging recount petitions filed by incumbent mayor, Democrat Kevin Burke. Bopp argued Burke's petitions weren't valid and that Vigo Circuit Judge David Bolk didn't have jurisdiction because the petitions failed to list Bennett's middle initial, which had been included on the election ballot.
On Nov. 30, the justices had denied an emergency request to get involved in the recount election but had requested additional briefing before deciding on the case this week.
In denying the petitions, "This Court expresses no opinion concerning the merits of the two cases pending in the trial court," Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard wrote in the order posted on the appellate clerk's online docket.
A trial has been scheduled for Dec. 17 on the recount challenges, and Judge Bolk will hear both sides' arguments, according to the local court calendar.