Attorney General Todd Rokita selected constitutional stalwart James Barta from a national pool of top-notch attorneys as Indiana’s new Solicitor General – ensuring the veteran attorney who litigated cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and argued in front of the Indiana Supreme Court, federal courts of appeals, and both federal and state courts – will now work alongside the attorney general as the chief defenders of Indiana law.
Barta is only the second Solicitor General to serve the state of Indiana, a role which oversees litigation involving constitutional challenges and other issues of vital interest to the state government. He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where he later taught constitutional theory. He graduated summa cum laude from Patrick Henry College, one of the top Christian conservative schools in the country.
Barta has litigated a wide variety of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, lower federal courts, and state courts. In a 2021 case before the country’s highest court, Barta helped lead litigation on United States v. Arthrex Inc. – a check on presidential appointment power.
“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,” Attorney General Rokita said. “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 clerked for the Honorable Stephen J. Murphy, III, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and the Honorable Raymond M. Kethledge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before joining one of the nation’s top litigation boutique firms in Washington, D.C.
In 2017 through Ziglar v. Abbasi, Barta secured dismissal of a Bivens claim against prison officials who confined foreign nationals detained during 9/11 terrorism investigations. Also in 2017, he successfully challenged federal rules adopted to govern the nation’s largest wholesale capacity market in NRG Power Mktg. LLC v. FERC. Barta in 2018 went on to successfully overturn a ruling which subjected coal ash to overreaching portions of the Clean Water Act as part of Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric & Power Co.
“I am incredibly grateful and humbled by this opportunity to serve my state and my fellow Hoosiers,” Solicitor General Barta said. “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.”
Barta returned to Indiana in 2022 to serve as Indiana’s Deputy Solicitor General and played a leading role in defending the constitutionality of Indiana’s laws regarding sanctuary cities, in protecting Indiana’s statutory scheme on absentee voting, and in defending its requirement for sex offenders to register with the state. Barta has been consistently praised for his creativity, excellent advocacy, and dedication to the preservation of ordered liberty.