IN Brief

AG Rokita chooses James Barta as solicitor general

By: - November 20, 2023 3:00 pm

James Barta, the new Solicitor General for the Attorney General’s Office. (Photo from the Attorney General’s Office)

Attorney General Todd Rokita announced Monday the selection of “constitutional stalwart” James Barta as solicitor general, a public-facing role that routinely represents the office in court and handles litigation involving constitutional challenges.

Previously, Barta worked as the state’s deputy solicitor general.

“After a national search, we selected a Hoosier with top credentials and national experience to fill this important role. I know James Barta is the right choice for Indiana,” Rokita said in a statement. “James is not only brilliant, he is tenacious and excited to represent Hoosiers in this new role before the highest courts of the land.” 

Barta succeeds Thomas Fisher, the state’s first-ever solicitor general, who left the agency in August to join the private sector.

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The accompanying release highlighted Barta’s education at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. as well as his enrollment at Virginia’s Patrick Henry College, which the office called “one of the top Christian conservative schools in the country.”

Barta has litigated before both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Indiana Supreme Court as well as lower federal and state courts. He previously clerked for Judge Stephen J. Murphy III, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan as well as Judge Raymond M. Kethledge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Court before joining a boutique law firm in D.C.

Previous case topics Barta argued for include: checks on presidential appointment power and reducing the power of the Clean Water Act when it came to coal ash.

“I am incredibly grateful and humbled by this opportunity to serve my state and my fellow Hoosiers,” Barta said in a release. “Ever since first studying our nation’s history and ideals, I have desired to advance the rule of law, preserve our system of government, and defend Americans’ liberties. It is a privilege to serve those causes in this new role.”


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Whitney Downard
Whitney Downard

A native of upstate New York, Whitney previously covered statehouse politics for CNHI’s nine Indiana papers, focusing on long-term healthcare facilities and local government. Prior to her foray into Indiana politics, she worked as a general assignment reporter for The Meridian Star in Meridian, Mississippi. Whitney is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (#GoBonnies!), a community theater enthusiast and cat mom.