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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - AG Zoeller has carried his legal battle against recognition of same-sex marriage across the country using Indiana resources

Attorney General Zoeller's news release today again defends his office's actions as the State of Indiana's attorney:

Under its duty to defend the state laws the people’s elected representatives in the Legislature pass from lawsuits plaintiffs’ lawyers file, the Attorney General’s Office has served as state’s lawyer in the consolidated lawsuit Baskin et al. v. Bogan et al. that plaintiffs filed in March in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. * * *

In defending Indiana’s marriage statute and the state defendants as its duty from the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ lawsuit, the Attorney General’s Office has provided a defense through its existing office budget the Legislature approved in advance. The case is assigned to an on-staff salaried attorney who does not charge billable hours. Unlike other states, Indiana has not hired outside counsel to defend its statute.

Earlier this year the Attorney General published opinion pieces in a number of newspapers around the state defending his office's filing of amicus briefs in courts around the nation, defending not the Indiana statute, but the statutes of other states prohibiting same-sex marriage. A quote: "By authoring or joining amicus briefs, our state government’s voice can be heard on fundamental issues even if we are not parties to a case."

In this long ILB post from June 23rd, the ILB questioned whether:

...the AG's view of "our state government's voice" about social issues in other states should be heard and financed with Indiana tax dollars. But in recent years the sole purpose of many of the 29 amicus briefs authored in the AG's office and filed in jurisdictions around the country has been to defend prohibitions against same-sex marriage in other states (sometimes even where a state's own elected officials have opted not to appeal a federal judge's ruling against that state's same-sex marriage prohibition).

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 9, 2014 12:45 PM
Posted to Indiana Government