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Monday, January 27, 2014

Ind. Law - Problems with trying to amend HJR 3 on second reading

Niki Kelly wrote in the FWJG this weekend:

[House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath] has prepared an amendment to remove the second sentence but said he and his caucus will have to decide whether it will be offered.

He called it a tactical decision, noting it might be easier to defeat the proposal in the legislature or at the ballot box in November with the language considered confusing and unnecessary remaining.

A few minutes ago Kelly tweeted:
IFI [Indiana Family Institute] email said House Democrats and growing # of House GOP will try to change the wording of the gay marriage ban "essentially killing it"
ILB: But would stripping out the second sentence of HJR 3 kill it?

Yesterday I posted a chart showing that the only sure way to defeat HJR 3 would be to defeat it on 3rd reading in the House. Such a defeat would be difficult at best, but would probably become impossible if the language that would keep some members from voting for it had been stripped out by a successful second reading amendment.

What might happen if HJR 3 passed the House with only the first sentence intact? Here are some alternatives:

  1. It could pass the Senate in the same form, but then the same language would have to be passed by another General Assembly. It would not go on the ballot in November. "Starting over" - that is the conventional thinking.

  2. The Senate Committee could put the second sentence back in and HJR 3 could pass the Senate in that form. Then, under normal procedure, the House would need to concur in the changes. But a Supreme Court decision from 1972, where the new Judicial Article to the Constitution was at issue, said that wasn't necessarily so. For more, see the last part of this Dec. 15, 2013 post, starting a little more than half-way though, with the heading "ILB: Maybe. Maybe not.."

  3. The companion bill to HJR 3, HB 1153, includes the language necessary to place HJR 3 on the ballot in November. So:
      (a) if the Senate passes HJR 3 without the sentence, or
      (b) if the Senate puts the second sentence back in, and the House concurs, or
      (c) if each house just proceeds as happened in the 1972 case,
    HJR 3 could still end up in the ballot in November, unless stopped by a successful lawsuit.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 27, 2014 10:30 AM
Posted to Indiana Law