Some good news from the courts. United States District Court Judge Peter Economus has issued a permanent injunction ordering Ohio to reinstate the three days of early voting preceding the election.
The full opinion is available on the excellent Moritz Election Law Litigation webpage.
Quick refresher: Following the TCF that was the 2004 presidential election, Ohio adopted no-excuse early voting. Ohio permitted voters to cast early ballots up to the day before an election. The Republicans in the Legislature noticed that early voting was done primarily in Democratic-leaning areas, and especially in Africa-American areas. As part of a broader effort [...]Full Story... →
Five Republican Justices on the Ohio Supreme Court just did Governor John Kasich a huge political favor.
The Ohio Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of JobsOhio on a legal technicality.
You can read the whole opinion here: ProgressOhio.org, Inc. v. JobsOhio, Slip Opinion No. 2014-Ohio-2382.
There is little doubt, in our view, that had a court been permitted to review the merits of the claims that JobsOhio violates the Ohio Constitution, the court would have ruled the centerpiece of the Kasich Administration unconstitutional. We won’t get into why here; just trust us, or read this [...]Full Story... →
Hans: Yeah, pay attention, because we’re not working for nothing here!
Franz: Yeah. Listen to me now, and believe me later: you know, if you don’t think this matters, you know.. maybe we should take a belt to your buttocks muscle until it’s all black and blue and swollen!
The judge will issue a formal ruling in April 14, 2014. After that date, Ohio will be compelled to recognize same sex marriages performed [...]Full Story... →
The ruling is much broader than just the elimination of this particular cap on donations. Combined with the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court is essentially saying that the Constitution prohibits practically all efforts to restrict the role of money in politics in the form of limiting campaign contributions.
We aren’t willing to go as far as one candidate did, suggesting that this is the worst Supreme [...]Full Story... →
Secretary of State Jon Husted on Friday dumped two Libertarian candidates from Ohio’s ballot.
Husted disqualified Charlie Earl, a candidate for governor, and Steven Linnabary, a candidate for attorney general. Husted concluded that petition signature gatherers failed to comply with Ohio laws requiring them to be either Libertarian or a political independent and another requiring them to disclose their employer. A court challenge is inevitable.
Husted’s motivations are obvious. The Libertarian candidate likely would draw votes away from Governor John Kasich. This isn’t a secret, even Republican state chairman, Matthew Borges, admitted that the GOP helped with [...]Full Story... →
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is standing up for the religious freedom rights of . . . wait for it . . . corporations.
Yes, according to DeWine, Mitt Romney was right: Corporations are people too. But DeWine goes further than Mitt: Corporations go to church, too.
DeWine’s Office wrote an amicus curiae, or “Friend of the Court Brief” for the United States Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case. The brief was joined by Republican Attorneys General in Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, and other states.
In this case, Hobby Lobby is arguing that it is exempt [...]Full Story... →
bury the lede (idiomatic, US, journalism): To begin a story with details of secondary importance to the reader while postponing more essential points or facts.
Republicans in the Ohio Legislature passed some election reform bills that reduced early voting and restricted the ability of local boards of election to mail absentee ballots to voters.
Coverage of this issue in the Dispatch is a classic example of poor journalism. The Columbus Dispatch reported that the bills passed “After a bitter partisan fight.” The article then reports the back and forth between the parties. Example: “Democrats have called for . . [...]Full Story... →
Currently, there are two major lawsuits pending in Ohio challenging an aspect of the state’s ban on same sex marriages.
In the first case, now headed to the Court of Appeals, a married same sex couple wants the surviving spouse listed on a death certificate. In another case, filed this week, four couples seek to list both same sex parents on their children’s birth certificates.
The theory of both cases is that Ohio does not have to allow same sex marriages, but must recognize valid same sex marriages preformed in other states – just like Ohio recognizes every [...]Full Story... →
Another lawsuit has been filed to push Ohio towards marriage equality.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that four couples have filed a federal suit seeking to list both same sex parents on their children’s birth certificates. Currentlty, Ohio allows both married parents of opposite sexes to be listed on their children’s birth certificates, but only one of the married parents of a same sex couple.
The suit follows a case last year brought by a married same sex couple who wanted the surviving spouse listed on a death certificate. A copy of the complaint is available here.
The same [...]Full Story... →
Apu: Pardon me, but I would like to see this money spent on more police officers. I have been shot eight times this year, and as a result, I almost missed work.
Chief Wiggum: Crybaby.
Governor Kasich with control of law enforcement money is a little like the mule with a spinning wheel. No one knows how he got it, and danged if he knows how to use it!
Now a Republican Sheriff is criticizing the law enforcement strategies of Kasich’s top cops.
Republican Sheriff Toby Spencer from Darke County is bothered by Kasich’s effort to take over [...]Full Story... →
There has been a lot of progress on the same sex marriage front in recent days.
In Utah, a federal judge declared that the State of Utah’s statutory and constitutional ban on same sex marriages violated the federal constitution. This led to a flurry of same sex couples seeking marriage licenses and getting hitched.
In Ohio, a federal district court judge ruled that Ohio must recognize same sex marriages legally performed in other states on death certificates.
All of this legal maneuvering can be confusing, so we reached out to some legal experts to answer some of the [...]Full Story... →