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Government/Politics

One Ohio Christian group suggests Chief Justice could be impeached, but another stays mostly quiet

Aaron Baer.jpg
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Center for Christian Virtue President Aaron Baer speaks at a February 8, 2021 press conference at the Ohio Statehouse announcing the group's opposition to legalization of marijuana in Ohio. Behind him is Rep. Reggie Stotlzfus (R-Paris Twp).

The two groups have both actively spoken out and advocated for legislation over the years, and often meet with and feature Republican lawmakers at their press conferences.

One of the state’s leading Christian coalitions has strong words for the Republican Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court after she and the court’s Democrats struck down the latest set of House and Senate maps from the Republican-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission.

But another influential Christian group isn’t saying much.

After the 4-3 ruling rejecting the latest legislative maps, in which Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor once again sided with the Court's minority Democratic justices, the Ohio Christian Alliance issued a statement that said O’Connor could face impeachment because of her “rogue manner” and that’s she’s joined “the radical left by trying to disrupt the 2022 mid-terms”.

The Court ruled the maps were unconstitutional based on the 2015 amendment approved overwhelmingly by voters. The ruling said the maps failed to meet the state's constitutional requirement for maps to reflect the partisan voter preference of Ohio. The maps would likely give Republicans 57% of the seats in the Statehouse for the next two years. The first ruling in the maps case indicated voters have split about 54% Republican and 46% Democratic in statewide elections.

But Aaron Baer with the group Center for Christian Virtue said his organization hasn’t commented on redistricting so far, and isn't doing so now.

But he did say, "we’re frustrated by the Court’s stepping in an area where they very clearly don’t have authority. But at the same time, we’re focused now on telling people about the dangers of marijuana, trying to pass the Backpack Bill – we’ve got our plate pretty full here at CCV.”

On Tuesday, CCV announced its opposition to the potential legalization of marijuana in Ohio. The organization has been championing the universal school voucher measure known as the "Backpack Bill" for a few months.

Baer's remark echoes the comments from the court’s three Republicans.

In one of the two dissents, Justices Sharon Kennedy and Pat DeWine – son of Gov. Mike DeWine, who’s on the redistricting commission – wrote “one must wonder which seven-member body is the true redistricting commission—the constitutionally named officers or this court?"

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