The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local News

June 19, 2013

Court lets $100,000 in Democrats' fines stand

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
Local News
  • NWS - HB0421 - EASTER sunday3 - sh Mounds State Park at Easter part of long family tradition Many Madison County residents woke early on Sunday to attend Easter services. David Long was among them, only his sanctuary was the Woodland Shelter at Mounds State Park.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS - HB0420 - CATS Buses-09 City to replace CATS fleet With 7-year-old city buses registering 250,000 miles, Anderson is looking to replace its aging transportation fleet.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Funderburk - 04 Man tries to restore father's tainted legacy at dental clinic

    When news broke earlier this month that the Anderson Dental Clinic had been shut down and several employees, including owner Sally Metzner, had been arrested, Mark Funderburk's main concern was the patients. "A lot of them kept going there because of my dad even after he passed away," he said. "And they didn't deserve this."

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - FEMA Kokomo Flooding 03 FEMA’s disaster decisions frustrate state, local leaders FEMA denied the state’s request to declare a “major disaster” after tornadoes swept Indiana last November, despite millions of dollars in damages. The decision prompted protests from Indiana’s Congressional delegation, and it stoked growing frustrations with FEMA, especially in the Midwest.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • Wagons for Warriors asks for donations

    The Pendleton American Legion post is accepting donations for a project called Wagons for Warriors.

    April 19, 2014

  • Ellspermann, Susan Ellspermann to deliver AU commencement address Indiana Lt. Gov. Susan Ellspermann will address the Anderson University Class of 2014 during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 10.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Ellks - JC 2a Former Elks building being reborn Just months after it closed, the former Anderson Elks Lodge could be reopening as a banquet hall and catering service. The Anderson Plan Commission on Tuesday will consider a rezoning request from James D. Sargent and Nettie Cox to rezone the building from residential to industrial use.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - egg drop - 30.jpg Helicopter aids in Easter egg drop

    Four months of planning was gone in about one minute on the Lapel football field Saturday as The River Church held its third annual Easter egg drop. Church pastor Tyson Priest found out more than 22,000 plastic eggs don’t last long when hundreds of local children are racing to pick them up as quickly as possible. But he didn’t seem to mind.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mounds State Park hosts birding weekend featuring live hawk Mounds State Park will go to the birds April 25-27 as the park hosts “Bird the Mounds.”

    April 19, 2014

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

March Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook