Pharos-Tribune

Local News

June 20, 2013

Court lets walkout fines against House Democrats stand

Split decision says authority stays with legislature.

INDIANAPOLIS – House Democrats who had to pay more than $100,000 in fines after they walked out of the Indiana Statehouse two years ago won’t get the help they sought from the Indiana Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, the state’s high court ruled in a 3-2 split decision that it would be inappropriate for the judicial branch to invade the authority of the legislature in the fines dispute, which started when the Democrats fled the state in 2011 to protest a contentious “right to work” bill.

The ruling found that the GOP leaders had the constitutional authority both to compel legislators’ attendance during the session and collect a fine levied against those who don’t comply.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote the majority opinion: “For courts to get involved in such a legislative function would amount to the type of ‘constitutionally impermissible judicial interference with the internal operations of the legislative branch’ which we have rejected in the past.”

Justices Loretta Rush and Robert Rucker dissented in part, saying that while House leaders had the authority to impose the fines, they didn’t have the authority to order the fines withheld from legislators’ pay. Rucker, in his dissenting opinion, said the high court’s decision to set a broad hands-off test for staying out of legislative matters could have impact well beyond internal disputes.

“We have never adopted such a test, which in my view would effectively preclude review of almost any legislative act,” he wrote.

In January, after hearing arguments in the case brought by House Democrats, the court had urged House leaders to resolve the matter internally. But no compromise was ever struck.

The dispute centers on fines levied by Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma against House Democrats in 2011 and again in 2012 after they refused to show up on the House floor. In doing so, they left the legislative body without a quorum and unable to do business.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police Blotter: July 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 22, 2014

  • One dead, one seriously injured in crash on Division Road

    A Logansport man was killed and another was seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash Monday on Division Road.

    July 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT072214 Western Wildfires.jpg Local volunteer to help wildfire victims A Flora resident will be among the volunteers helping those affected by the wildfires in Washington State.Pat Rinehart was scheduled to fly out of Indianapolis International Airport Monday afternoon and join fellow American Red Cross volunteers at th

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT072214 Lauren Ray.jpg Logansport graduate makes a go at Hollywood “Instincta,” the latest film by a 2008 Logansport High School graduate, will be screened at the Gen Con Indy Film Festival in Indianapolis in August.It is an action, thriller cop drama short film, starring Logansport native Lauren Zehner Ray, Michael

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDU-PT072314 whitley lehr.jpg School's top honor goes to local grad Whitley Lehr chose Indiana University Kokomo because of its excellent School of Nursing. Receiving the campus’ most prestigious scholarships sealed the deal for each of her. The 18-year-old Delphi student called the Herbert Scholarship “a huge blessi

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT072214-Gwin3-BCM Landis Elementary teacher back from China experience Steve Gwin has hundreds of pictures already on his new laptop, just months after buying it. He spent the month of June in China teaching to kids at two schools and chronicled about each adventure.Gwin teaches first grade at Landis Elementary and got

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Four injured when motorcycles collide Four people were injured Sunday when a motorcycle rear-ended another motorcycle. The accident occurred at 4:06 p.m. Sunday on the ramp from U.S. 35 North at U.S. 24, according to Cass County Sheriff Deputy Brad Craven. Riding a 2012 Harley-Davidson,

    July 21, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 21, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 21, 2014

  • NWS-PT072014 Corn2.jpg Bumper crop? Corn farmers hopeful that good weather lasts Several Cass County corn farmers say they may see record-breaking harvests this fall thanks to “perfect” weather during the spring growing and summer pollination periods.“I think it’s going to be one of the best crops we’ve ever harvested,” southern

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Monticello puts cardboard to the test MONTICELLO — Lori Abbott has been collecting pieces of cardboard for months now, in anticipation of the Monticello Rotary Club Cardboard Boat Regatta.“After work, I go home and work on the boat,” Abbott said.The second annual cardboard boat race is h

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
eEdition