It has become apparent that Ohio's court system does not work on timetables that are conducive to Ohioans when it comes to gubernatorial overreach. Gubernatorial overreach should be disconcerting to all Ohioans and all parties.
The Ohio Governor has effectively suspended our Ohio legislature from being involved in the COVID-19 emergency. Clearly the Ohio Constitution, specifically spelled out how emergencies are to be handled.
II.01d Emergency laws; not subject to referendum
Laws providing for tax levies, appropriations for the current expenses of the state government and state institutions, and emergency laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, shall go into immediate effect. Such emergency laws upon a yea and nay vote must receive the vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each branch of the general assembly, and the reasons for such necessity shall be set forth in one section of the law, which section shall be passed only upon a yea and nay vote, upon a separate roll call thereon. The laws mentioned in this section shall not be subject to the referendum.
(Adopted September 3, 1912.)
This was law was passed during Ohio's 1910-1912 Constitutional Convention.
With such a clear and obvious disregard for the Ohio Constitution, one would wonder how Governor DeWine has been allowed to maintain his Public Health Emergency orders without being arrested. Many of Ohio's legislators have erroneously typified this Constitutional crisis as a policy dispute.
This is no more a policy dispute than if the Governor ordered the arrest of the legislature and to be held in prison indefinitely with no trial.
We should be very afraid of any law officer, that has sworn an oath to the Ohio Constitution would enforce any unconstitutional public health order. This does not require a law-degree to divine what is legal or not legal.
Ohio's law-enforcement oath is as follows:
"I do solemnly swear/affirm that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Ohio, and that I will faithfully, honestly and impartially discharge the duties of the office of trooper in the Ohio state highway patrol to the best of my ability, during my continuance in that office."
Officers do not swear an oath to the Ohio Revised Code - which has an unConstitutional law (a law in direct opposition to the Ohio Constitution). Officers swear an Oath to uphold the Ohio and U.S. Constitutions. Those officers enforcing unconstitutional orders should be removed from law-enforcement at the very least.
The legislature is obligated, even if Governor DeWine were to restore power to the General Assembly, to bring articles of impeachment against Governor DeWine. The Ohio House of Representatives is Ohio's only policing authority for the governor and judiciary. No matter how you look at it, any legislator that refuses to impeach Governor DeWine is breaking their oath of office. This failure to impeach illustrates the need to empower Ohioans with a mechanism to restore their representation.
We feel the below policies will aid in keeping the power of the governor and judiciary in check.