Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Legal Costs Rung Up by Republicans Tilting at Ideological Wndmills

Political columnist Brian Howey has a great column on the expenditures of Republican administrations defending "controversial" laws that are transparently unconstitutional. Howey notes the record:
In the past five years, legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly has defunded Planned Parenthood and created new immigration laws, and there have been moves to amend the Indiana Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. In addition, the Indiana attorney general has challenged a key provision in the Affordable Care Act, and the Indiana treasurer attempted to thwart the 2009 merger of Chrysler and Fiat.
The Planned Parenthood law and parts of the immigration bill have been judged unconstitutional. "The irony here," Howey observes, "is that Hoosier lawmakers and officeholders — many carrying a copy of the U.S. Constitution in their pockets — routinely pass legislation that fails to pass constitutional muster." This happens often enough that Indiana has paid $916,426.37 in plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees to American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana in 16 lawsuits where ACLU prevailed against the state since 2008. And Richard Mourdock paid $2 million to a New York law firm in a hopeless challenge to the Chrysler/Fiat merger that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear (and which would have put Chrysler out of business and thousands of Hoosiers out of work).

How many taxpayer dollars will be poured down legal drains so that Republican administrators can try to score ideological points? Read Brian Howey's column here.