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Secretary Husted Appeals Federal Court Decision

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Secretary Husted Appeals Federal Court Decision
Citizens in Charge ruling threatens constitutional separation of powers

COLUMBUS– Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today appealed a federal court’s refusal to grant summary judgment in the case of Citizens in Charge, Inc. vs. Husted (Case No. 2:13-cv-935). The court declined to grant the Secretary’s request for qualified immunity in the case, which challenges Senate Bill 47 from the 130th General Assembly.

“It is the responsibility of the General Assembly to make the laws, it is up to the executive branch to implement the laws and it is up to the court to determine the constitutionality of the laws,” said Husted. “This court ruling would give unprecedented authority and responsibility to the Secretary of State to pick and choose which laws to enforce. This violates the common understanding of the separation of powers and cannot be left unchallenged.”

The Ohio Supreme Court has previously ruled that the executive is to give the “strong presumption of constitutionality” to acts passed by the General Assembly unless instructed otherwise by a court. The same expectation has been placed on the executive by the United States Supreme Court.

“The separation of powers outlined in both the United States and Ohio Constitutions exists to ensure a system of checks and balances on all branches of government,” said Ohio Senate President Keith Faber. “The ruling as it stands would change this fundamental principle on which our government was built, and not for the better.   The legislature enacts laws; the executive branch administers them; and the courts decide on their constitutionality. This ruling presents an unwise and unprecedented collision of those separate branches.”

“Our founding fathers established a government designed to prevent any one person or branch from having too much power,” said Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. “It’s a system that has served us well for centuries and it’s a system that deserves our respect. When the legislature issues a new law, we expect our partners in the executive branch to be empowered to execute the will of the people’s representatives. Any alternative would run counter to our constitution.”

The Secretary of State filed a formal notice of appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today.


For more information, please contact Joshua Eck at (614) 466-2729


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