Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Ohio’s GOP attorney general is siding with the Columbus Democrat in a gun control regulation case. This is why.

By meerna Jun12,2024

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Republican Attorney General Dave Yost, seeking to engage in a case before the Ohio Supreme Court that could have far-reaching consequences for how courts deal with future challenges to new state laws, is making the same legal argument as the distinguished Democrat from Colombia.

In Tuesday’s court testimony, Yost argues that a temporary order by a Republican Delaware County judge blocking a gun control ordinance in Columbus for more than a year is similar to how a Democratic judge in Cincinnati blocked a six-week abortion ban from going into effect indefinitely after the resolution United States Supreme Court. The court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

So Yost said when a court issues an injunction blocking a new state or city law, city and state officials should be able to immediately appeal those decisions and take them to a higher court, rather than waiting months or years for a local case to be resolved. end.

“The rule of law means the same rules for everyone,” Yost said in a statement Tuesday. “It doesn’t matter state or city, Democrat or Republican, the same rules should apply to everyone.

Yost’s “friend of the court” appeared in a case the Ohio Supreme Court agreed to take up in April. He is not a party to the case, but claims that the court should take his position into account anyway. Additionally, the filing highlights that Yost, a Republican who widely supports gun rights, personally opposes the Columbus gun control ordinance and believes it should be repealed.

The Columbus case dates back to an ordinance passed by the Democratic Columbus City Council that prohibits large-capacity warehouses within city limits. In that case, a conservative community organization sued the ordinance, claiming it violated a law passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature that prohibits cities from passing more stringent gun laws than those passed by the state. The Republican judge overseeing the case issued a temporary order in April 2023, called a preliminary injunction, blocking the ordinance. A state appeals court declined to take up the case last November, saying the preliminary injunction was not a final court ruling, which means it cannot be appealed under state law.

Klein appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, and in April four Republicans voted to take up the case, overruling three Democrats who dissented in the court.

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Rules governing when government officials can appeal a court ruling striking down a new law are a major political flashpoint between Republicans and Democrats in Ohio that could determine how lawsuits challenging GOP-passed state laws, including those seeking to enforce them, will play out. new voter – approved the amendment regarding abortion. Left-wing groups challenging the new state law typically file lawsuits in large city courts, where Democratic-leaning voters elect local judges.

A recent example on a different topic occurred in April, when a Republican judge in Franklin County issued a temporary order blocking a new state law that prevents transgender children from obtaining medical care that confirms their gender identity while also prohibiting transgender student-athletes from competing in girls’ and girls’ sports. feminine. Yost cited that decision in his filing Tuesday.

Conversely, the Columbus gun ordinance challenge is a relatively rare example of how a Republican-leaning judge can rule favorably on a conservative challenge to an ordinance passed in a Democrat-controlled city because part of Columbus extends into Delaware County, where Republicans control the government counties.

Republican state legislators recently tried to address the issue themselves when the Ohio Senate passed a bill last month stating that preliminary injunctions are final orders that are subject to appeal, but only if they appeal to state law. This would create a double standard for local ordinances that could not be immediately appealed.

However, the bill stalled in the Ohio House because the Senate included the provision in a broader bill that barred non-U.S. citizens from participating in mail-in ballot campaigns – a bill that the House ultimately approved separately in a different form.

Andrew Tobias covers state politics and government for and The Plain Dealer

By meerna

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