Posts by: Leonidas

Last month, Auditor Dave “At Least I’m Not Mike DeWine” Yost announced that his Office would conduct “sunshine audits” of any public entity in the state to check for violations of the Ohio Public Records Act.

Sure, it was some obvious political grandstanding during “Sunshine Week.”  But with all the crazy shit the Republicans in the Legislature have been threatening to do recently, we will take our small victories for sanity where we can find them.

The Response of the Republican Leadership to Yost’s efforts:  “This Sanity Shall Not Stand.”

Under the program, Ohio residents can complain that […]

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Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French generally had a great reputation before joining the Ohio bench.  Now, that reputation is in tatters.

French is one of the sitting Ohio Supreme Court justices seeking another term.  She has received significant support from outside conservative groups.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that French has been touting her activist conservative credentials recently.  She told a Republican group in Powell

“Whatever the governor does, whatever your state representative, your state senator does, whatever they do, we are the ones that will decide whether it is constitutional, we decide whether it’s lawful. We decide what it […]

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This is scary.  And the headline is not an exaggeration.

Yesterday we posted some of the responses by candidates to the Cincinnati Right to Life survey.  The answer to one question by Justices French and Kennedy – who are seeking re-election to the Ohio Supreme Court – really stood out.

The question from is:

In Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a “right to privacy” under the Constitution that includes abortion.  The Constitution does not include this right.

Justice French responded, “I am unable to take a position on this issue.”

Justice Kennedy responded, […]

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“My fellow Ohioans.  It has now become obvious that the federal courts are going to strike down Ohio’s ban on same sex marriage.  Let me be clear that I think a huge mistake has been made here.  This state is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions. Old Testament, real wrath of God type stuff.  Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

But all that will be on the unelected judges, not me.


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This is big.

Federal judge Peter C. Economus issued a preliminary injunction blocking Republican changes to Ohio’s early voting. Read the coverage from the New York Times:

The case involved two main issues.  First, early voting during evenings and on at least two Sundays before the election, and the so-called “Golden Week,” when a person could register and vote on the same day.

A copy of the opinion will be available below.

The Judge found that the revised voting schedule unconstitutionally burdened the right to vote of African Americans, lower income individuals, and the homeless.  The judge noted that […]

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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 […]

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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:, 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 […]

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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!


A federal judge in Cincinnati says he will strike down a portion of Ohio’s ban on same sex marriages.

The judge will issue a formal ruling in April 14, 2014.  After that date, Ohio will be compelled to recognize same sex marriages performed […]

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The United States Supreme this week struck down a federal law capping the total amount any individual can contribute to federal candidates in a two-year election cycle.

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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