Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Judge Alexa Throws Out Soliday Residency Suit

An attempt by Democrats to oust Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) because precinct lines drawn by the county's commissioners placed Soliday outside his district despite being told otherwise by the Porter County Clerk has failed. Judge Alexa in throwing out the suit said the Indiana House of Representatives, not the courts, is the final judge on Soliday's qualifications to serve in that body. The Gary Post-Tribune reports:

"This court does not have the jurisdiction to remove Mr. Soliday, or any other member of the General Assembly," Alexa told lawyers at a morning hearing.

Alexa said the Indiana House of Representatives has the sole right to judge Soliday's or any other member's qualifications.

The matter was a separation of powers issue, citing Indiana code that keeps General Assembly members free from interference by the executive or judicial branches of government.

The Democrats could now appeal to the Indiana House of Representatives to remove Soliday. It is unlikely, however, that House Speaker Pat Bauer would open that can of worms at this late date.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if House Democrats will be willing to entertain further review of this, especially if it would result in a residency review of some House Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Soliday is one lucky man.

Separation of powers, to me, was the real winning argument on SJR7. How can a legislative session, followed by voters, amend the Constitution to forever prohibit one branch (judicial) from remedying another's potential errors (legislative)?

Spill the beans, 8:32--who else doesn't live in their district? I hadn't heard this.