Aug. 10, 2017
Justice Department now backing Ohio in voter rolls case
On Monday, the U.S. Justice Department filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court defending Ohio's process for maintaining the state's voter rolls. This is a reversal as, under President Obama's administration, the Justice Department weighed in for the plaintiffs, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. The group successfully argued before the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the state's longtime policy for removing ineligible voters violates the National Voting Rights Act of 1993 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
Secretary of State Jon Husted appealed the Sixth Circuit decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state have employed the same process over the last two decades to ensure Ohio's voter rolls are accurate and up-to-date and to ensure the integrity of Ohio elections.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in the case this fall, and to rule next year. State Solicitor Eric Murphy is representing the state and Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra, the plaintiffs. Both are members of the OSBA. Read more from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
More evidence of the opioid crisis burden in Ohio
It seems that every day there is a new story about the impact of the opioid crisis in Ohio.
This week, we learned that Attorney General Mike DeWine will be seeking $440,000 in additional funding from the State Controlling Board in order to farm out drug testing to crime labs in Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties that would otherwise have gone to state BCI labs. This is due to the volume and complexity of the testing, both of which have been on the rise.
Additionally, Ohio was featured in a CBS news story regarding the increasing number of children being placed in foster care or with relatives due to their parents' addictions. Across the state, 14,000 children are in agency custody, up 14% in five years, according to the story.
OSBA opioid resources page: The OSBA has compiled helpful opioid-related resources at ohiobar.org/opioidepidemic to assist legal professionals who want more information or want to get involved in combatting this crisis.
Book Todd Book
OSBA Director of Policy and Government Affairs Todd Book traveled to Port Clinton on Monday to provide a legislative update for the Ottawa County Bar Association. Those in attendance earned 1.5 hours of CLE credit for the program. Todd will be in Wayne County on Friday. If you would also like to book Todd to come to your office, county/municipal bar or other local organization, contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 487-4464.
The week ahead:
General Assembly remains on recess.
Track OSBA priority legislation
Keep track of the progress on OSBA priority legislation via the Legislative section at www.OhioBar.org.