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Anti-nepotism statute successfully defended from legal challenge

by Office of the Attorney General on December 4, 2015
 

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Attorney General’s Office has successfully defended the state’s anti-nepotism statute from a legal challenge.  The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana granted the state’s motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, meaning the statute remains intact.

Earlier this year, five plaintiffs who held full-time municipal government jobs and also were elected to the city or town councils of those same municipalities had filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality 2012 state statute which prohibits that practice starting in 2016. The Attorney General’s Office represented the Governor, State Board of Accounts and its board members in the lawsuit. The U.S. District Court heard oral arguments in the case, Claussen et al. v. Pence et al., on Nov. 19, and Judge Philip P. Simon ruled Wednesday in favor of the state and against the plaintiffs on all counts.

“As the lawyer for state government, my office defended the policymaking authority of the Legislature to pass this 2012 statute that takes effect in 2016. We respect the plaintiffs’ service in their municipal governments; but the Legislature has firmly drawn the line at serving in no more than one position in a municipality at a time, and the Court has upheld that statute. Serving in municipal government is a privilege and should not be primarily about the financial reward; and there are many ways that civic-minded people can serve their communities and neighbors in non-government capacities,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said.

To view official District Court Ruling, click here.

    

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