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Monday, October 03, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - Dem. AG candidate: "State must stop pushing agendas via lawsuits"

Some quotes from a letter by Lorenzo Arredondo, a retired Lake County Circuit Court judge, who is the Democratic nominee for Indiana attorney general, published 9/28/16 in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

Gov. Mike Pence tried to stop Syrians from settling in our state by denying them assistance funded by the federal government and administered by state government.

A social services organization sued, arguing Pence’s order was unconstitutional because it penalized only Syrian refugees participating in a federal resettlement program, even though they have been vetted by the State Department. A federal district judge issued an injunction, saying Pence’s action “clearly constitutes national origin discrimination.”

Had the current attorney general exercised good judgment and demonstrated common sense, he would have accepted that decisive and unequivocal ruling – and that would have been the end of the matter. Indiana’s attorney general has that sort of discretion. But instead, he viewed the issue through a political prism and appealed.

The panel of judges for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals harshly and incredulously questioned the thinking behind Pence’s order and blasted the Indiana solicitor general, an employee of the Office of the Attorney General who argued the case. One member of the panel said to the solicitor general, “Honestly, you are so out of it.”

Indiana taxpayers are paying for this. They also have footed the bill when the attorney general, pursuing his own political or ideological positions, has sued the federal government, including efforts to deny Hoosiers access to health care. My opponent has pledged to take the same, wrong-headed approach.

This is not to say that I will never use the courts to do what is right for Hoosiers. A good example of the right approach is former Indiana Attorney General Jeff Modisett’s decision to lead a multistate lawsuit against tobacco companies, arguing that states had spent a fortune treating Medicaid recipients with tobacco-related illnesses caused by these companies. The states won more than $200 billion, millions of which came and are still coming to Indiana.

As your next attorney general and the state’s chief consumer advocate, I will never pursue a lawsuit to advance my own political or ideological positions. I will carefully weigh whether a majority of Hoosiers will benefit by our state’s participation in a lawsuit and participate only if the answer is “yes.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 3, 2016 09:38 AM
Posted to Indiana Government