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INDIANAPOLIS (LifeSiteNews) — A Republican Indiana state senator withdrew legislation that could have effectively empowered a state commission run by Democrats to pick who could run for attorney general.

House Bill 1265 deals with many mundane election matters, like defining “scantron” and various rules about filing for office. But an amendment would “add a qualification to run for attorney general, saying the person can’t have been disbarred or suspended without automatic reinstatement within one year of the election,” according to the Indiana Capital Chronicle.

Suspension and disbarment are left to the Democrat-controlled Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.

Sen. Mike Gaskill, a sponsor of HB1265 and elections committee chair, allowed the amendment to be added, but he would not say who wrote it. Gaskill “did not say who filed the amendment,” according to the Capital Chronicle.

He has since withdrawn the amendment, following a critical report from The Federalist. Others, like Corpus Christi for Unity and Peace, had urged opposition to the bill. “The amendment being proposed is clearly a violation of the Indiana Constitution and a threat to the rule of law in Indiana,” the Catholic group wrote.

“The language you are referencing was removed today by Sen. Gaskill through an amendment,” Samantha Deese, a spokeswoman for Gaskill, told LifeSiteNews on Tuesday afternoon via email.

LifeSiteNews asked who wrote the amendment and if the senator had concerns that Democrats might try to use the amendment to remove rising star Republicans from the ballot. LifeSiteNews also shared a copy of The Federalist article detailing the problems with the bill. Deese did not answer those questions.

“Law license challenges have since 2020 become a political tool for Democrats to deny their political opponents legal representation,” Joy Pullmann noted, writing for The Federalist.

She wrote:

Multiple Democrat pressure groups such as The 65 Project and Lawyers Defending Democracy now exist specifically to harass, intimidate, and force potentially tens of thousands of dollars of representation costs on their political opponents for constitutionally protected free speech. This means any Republican attorney general is at high risk of an ethics complaint unless he represents no challenge to Democrat priorities.

A law professor who offered his opinion to both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about the certification of Electoral College votes is facing disbarment in California, for example. John Eastman faces disbarment for advising Pence to reject Electoral College votes.

Attorney General Todd Rokita, a stalwart conservative, faced disciplinary action for comments he made criticizing an Indiana University abortionist who destroyed the preborn baby of a 1o-year-old girl soon after the reversal of Roe v. Wade. It later came out that the girl was raped by her mother’s illegal immigrant boyfriend.

“Although Rokita settled that complaint by agreeing not to contest it and pay $250, he immediately was slapped with another now pending because leftists didn’t think he showed enough public remorse about challenging the medical license of a woman who kills for pay. Rokita was the only lawyer the commission reprimanded for speech in 2023,” Pullmann wrote on February 26.

Rokita’s office criticized the proposed amendment.

“This amendment does not affect the attorney general, however, this amendment is bad for voters and the taxpayers because it takes away their powers at a time when judicial institutions are being weaponized at all levels for political purposes,” a spokesperson told the Capital Chronicle. “Deep state players, like backroom legislators, are taking the peoples’ power away and giving it to secret committees who are accountable to no one. The fact that the language is limited to an election year just shows that this is about politics and completely devoid of policy.”

Executive director Adrienne Meiring “is a longtime advocate of Marxist identity politics who used her position to publicly endorse judges attending Black Lives Matter protests in 2020,” The Federalist reported. “Every lawyer on the nine-member commission also has a history of making campaign donations to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets.org records. Some have also donated to Republicans.”

One ostensibly Republican commission member, Peter Rusthoven, is anti-Trump and believes the former president should be barred from the 2024 ballot for “insurrection.” The president has never been convicted of “insurrection.”

“Trump ended his first term by inciting an insurrection against the peaceful transfer of power,” Rusthoven, a former counsel to President Ronald Reagan, stated in a co-authored opinion piece. “A second Trump term threatens calamitous institutional harm.”

“History will honor a Court that rises to the occasion,” the commission member wrote.

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