IN THE MATTER OF THE TEMPORARY INABILITY OF
GOVERNOR FRANK L. OBANNON TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF OFFICE _________________________________
Pursuant To Article 5 Section 10 of the Indiana Constitution
September 10, 2003 _________________________________
The letter also states, Therefore, pursuant to Article 5, Section 10 of the
Indiana Constitution, we are filing with the Supreme Court our written statement suggesting
that the Governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of this
office, due to his current medical condition. The written statement is accompanied
by a supporting document from Governor OBannons physician.
The presenting of this statement by the Speaker and the President Pro Tempore invokes
Whenever the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives file with the Supreme Court a written statement suggesting that the Governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Supreme Court shall meet within forty-eight hours to decide the question and such decision shall be final. Thereafter, whenever the Governor files with the Supreme Court his written declaration that no inability exists, the Supreme Court shall meet within forty-eight hours to decide whether such be the case and such decision shall be final. Upon a decision that no inability exists, the Governor shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
After the statement was filed to invoke our duties under Section 10(d), the Court met to decide the question presented.
Having reviewed the materials provided, we find no basis for doubt or dispute and conclude that the evidence before us demonstrates that the Governor of Indiana is unable to discharge the powers and duties of office and has been unable to do so since 9:30 a.m. on Monday, September 8, 2003. We are informed by those representing Governor OBannon that they agree this is so. Accompanying the statement is a letter from Jon Laramore, Chief Counsel to the Governor, stating that Mrs. OBannon and the OBannon family support the transfer of authority to Lieutenant Governor Kernan.
Our Constitution also provides, In case the Governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Lieutenant Governor shall discharge the powers and duties of the office as Acting Governor. Ind. Const. art. 5 § 10(a) (in relevant part). We have now made the requisite finding under Section 10(d) that the Governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Therefore, the Lieutenant Governor, Joseph E. Kernan, shall discharge the powers and duties of the office of Governor as Acting Governor in addition to serving as Lieutenant Governor. Of course, Governor Frank L. OBannon continues to be Governor of Indiana, entitled to the emoluments of that office during the period in which the Lieutenant Governor is serving as Acting Governor. Any official actions taken by the Lieutenant Governor since 9:30 a.m. on Monday, September 8, 2003 are hereby ratified.
Done at Indianapolis, Indiana this 10th day of September, 2003.
/s/ Randall T. Shepard
Chief Justice of Indiana
Dickson, Sullivan, Boehm, and Rucker, JJ., concur.