INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A lawyer for women who say they were drunkenly groped by Indiana’s former attorney general has argued that a federal appeals court should allow their lawsuit over his actions to go forward.

A lower court judge blocked the three women from suing the state for sexual harassment, ruling they worked for the state’s legislative branch and that then-Attorney General Curtis Hill had no employment authority over them.

The women’s lawyer told the appeals court in Chicago on Thursday that the judge’s ruling would create a “loophole” allowing the state to avoid responsibility.

The Indiana Supreme Court ordered a 30-day suspension of Hill’s law license for his actions.