A suit was filed today challenging the constitutionality of House Enrolled Act 1123 by John Whitaker, a life-long Hoosier, resident of Marion County for more than 40 years, and the Special Counsel to former Governor Robert Orr (1984-88). The suit was filed on behalf of the taxpayers and residents of Indiana because, according to Plaintiff, “This is a constitutional issue that needs to be decided by the Courts now. Waiting would unnecessarily jeopardize future legislative actions.”
According to the lawsuit, HEA 1123, which gives the General Assembly the right and ability to call a special session of its own body, is a direct challenge to the Governor’s sole and exclusive power under Article 4, Section 9 of the Indiana Constitution to call a special session of the General Assembly when in his opinion “the public welfare shall require it.” This unconstitutional usurpation of the Governor’s exclusive constitutional powers creates an “extreme circumstance” warranting immediate judicial intervention. Any law that is passed during an unconstitutional special session called by the General Assembly risks being deemed void and would lead to uncertainty and confusion for the general public.
A quick resolution of this issue is consistent with the public and taxpayer interest in the proper functioning of state government as well as the stated intention of several legislators that this is an issue for the courts.
Plaintiff seeks a declaration that portions of HEA1123 violate Article 3, Section 1 and Article 4, Section 9 of the Indiana Constitution, and has requested that the General Assembly be permanently enjoined from calling any form of special session under HEA 1123. “This is a power that was given to the Governor in the Constitution and we are confident that the courts will affirm the drafters,” said McNeelyLaw founder, J. Lee McNeely