Indiana AG Finds Fault in Holcomb's Issuance of Statewide Mask Mandate

“In a republican form of government, we do not govern by executive decree,” Indiana's Attorney General wrote to Gov. Holcomb and leaders of the Indiana General Assembly in a letter sent on Friday.

Posted: Aug 14, 2020 10:44 AM
Updated: Aug 14, 2020 10:51 AM

On Friday, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill sent a letter to Governor Eric Holcomb and leaders of the Indiana General Assembly, calling for a special legislative session focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter sent by AG Hill on Friday finds fault in the issuance of Holcomb's statewide mask mandate and says that the coronavirus pandemic has been used to justify "hurried executive actions," which Hill calls a "long-term issue."

“In a republican form of government, we do not govern by executive decree,” Attorney General Hill wrote in the letter. “We govern by legislation, enforcement, and adjudication carried out by separately elected (and appointed) officials. The Indiana Constitution so divides government functions to prevent concentration of power and to facilitate public debate.”

"The emergency used to justify hurried executive actions has now become a long-term issue that deserves the attention of the people’s representatives," AG Hill said.

AG Hill continued, saying, "while Hoosiers at first mostly obeyed the Governor’s emergency orders, as those orders have endured, overreached, mutated, or proven impracticable, many citizens have begun to lose respect for them.”

Gov. Holcomb had originally stated that failure to follow his statewide mask mandate could result in a Class B misdemeanor. Although AG Hill said he supported laws requiring the mandatory wearing of masks as a means of slowing the spread of COVID-19, he said Holcomb lacked the authority to criminalize violations of his statewide mask mandate.

You can view the full letter from Attorney General Hill to Gov. Holcomb and leaders of the Indiana General Assembly by clicking here.

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