Holcomb undecided on appeal of emergency law ruling

Indiana’s governor said Friday he’s waiting to decide on whether to continue his court fight against a new law giving state legislators more power to intervene during public health emergencies.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has maintained that the law violates a state constitutional provision allowing only the governor to call the Legislature into a special session after its regular annual session wraps up by the end of April.

A Marion County judge, however, upheld the law Thursday in ruling that the state constitution gives the General Assembly the authority to determine when and for how long it will meet.

Holcomb said he and his attorneys were reviewing the ruling and hadn’t decided if they will appeal to a higher court.

“I’m very open-minded at this,” Holcomb said. “We’ve got time to make a very informed decision and we’ll use as much time as we need.”

The Republican-dominated Legislature advanced the law following criticism from conservatives over the statewide mask mandate and other COVID-19 restrictions that Holcomb imposed by executive order.

Republican legislative leaders have maintained that the measure wasn’t “anti-governor” and praised Holcomb’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Though we have disagreed with the governor regarding this law, we have and will continue to work with him and his office in order to serve the people of Indiana,” Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray of Martinsville said in a statement Friday.

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