Local lawmakers propose disempowering Supreme Court, keeping abortion laws

After Ohio voters approved Issue 1 by a 13-point margin, Gross, Dean, other Republicans suggest ways to prevent election from having consequences

Credit: Submitted photo

Credit: Submitted photo

A group of Republican Ohio House members have proposed blocking implementation of the Issue 1 abortion amendment by removing power from the Ohio Supreme Court.

Ohio voters on Tuesday approved Issue 1 with 56.6% of the vote, putting protections for abortion and other reproductive matters in the state constitution. When it goes into effect next month, this would make numerous laws restricting abortion unconstitutional.

It’s the job of the Ohio Supreme Court to determine which laws are in line with the state constitution. Republicans currently have a majority on the Supreme Court.

But some Republican lawmakers want to make changes.

“To prevent mischief by pro-abortion courts with Issue 1, Ohio legislators will consider removing jurisdiction from the judiciary over this ambiguous ballot initiative,” says a statement from House Republicans. “The Ohio legislature alone will consider what, if any, modifications to make to existing laws based on public hearings and input from legal experts on both sides.

The release quotes some area lawmakers, including Rep. Bill Dean, R-Xenia.

“Issue 1 doesn’t repeal a single Ohio law, in fact, it doesn’t even mention one,” Dean said. “The amendment’s language is dangerously vague and unconstrained, and can be weaponized to attack parental rights or defend rapists, pedophiles, and human traffickers.”

Rep. Jennifer Gross noted that the Issue 1 campaign received heavy funding support from out-of-state groups.

“Foreign billionaires don’t get to make Ohio laws,” she said. “This is foreign election interference, and it will not stand.”

The 3.86 million people who decided Issue 1 with their votes, of course, were Ohioans.

The statement from House Republicans drew immediate rebukes from Democrats.

“There is now a faction in the Ohio GOP that is floating the idea of stripping power away from the GOP-controlled Supreme Court when it comes to interpreting abortion laws in Ohio. These people are unhinged,” Montgomery County Democrats wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Ohio Democrats proposed legislation after the election repealing laws they say are made unconstitutional by Issue 1.

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