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Thursday, January 03, 2013

Ind. Courts - More on: Supreme Court hears legislative pay case this morning

Updating this ILB entry from earlier this morning re CJ Dickson's call for compromise, Mary Beth Schneider of the Indianapolis Star has now filed a story headed "Chief justice asks compromise in pay fight over Indiana House Democrats' walkout." Some quotes:

After 45 minutes of listening to attorneys argue whether the legislature had the power to seize the pay of lawmakers to collect fines, Chief Justice Brent Dickson had a suggestion: Compromise. * * *

This morning, Solicitor General Tom Fisher began the state’s case by saying that “this case is about hardball politics, pure and simple.”

But Dickson concluded the hearing by saying that if this is about politics, the court is not a political institution.

He suggested that this “might be an ideal opportunity for both sides to get their heads together and resolve this matter” by finding compromise.

Afterward, Mark GiaQuinta, the Fort Wayne attorney representing the House Democratic lawmakers, said that may happen.

“I would never fail to take the advice of the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Indiana,” GiaQuinta said after the hearing.

“I’m going to go right now to discuss with my clients what Chief Justice Dickson just said and I expect I’ll be calling my colleague Mr. Fisher or perhaps (Indiana Attorney General Greg) Zoeller to see if they are of a mind to take Chief Justice Dickson up on his suggestion,” GiaQuinta said. “I didn’t see it coming but I think it was a very appropriate thing for the chief justice to say.”

Fisher said there is “always hope” that the two sides will come together to compromise.

“Certainly you want your elected officials to work together and courts always have an interest in getting parties to come together to resolve their issues amicably,” he said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 3, 2013 10:55 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts