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The week ahead

Justices weigh walkout fines levied on Democrats

On Thursday, the Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case involving the fines Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma levied on Democrats during an extended 2011 walkout and a shorter walkout in 2012.

The court faces an interesting legal challenge.

Mark GiaQuinta, the Fort Wayne attorney who has represented Democrats, argues that Bosma has no legal authority to order pay to be withheld from lawmakers. Money cannot be withheld, he argues, without a court’s direction.

And he has a good argument.

For example, a debtor cannot simply tell an employer to withhold money from a check; the debtor must go to court and obtain an order to garnishee wages.

Bosma and the state argue that because the legislature and judiciary are separate branches of government, the courts cannot intervene in a legislative matter.

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