Some Ohio Republicans drop a bill to remove power from courts on cases related to abortion
Some Republican state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would take authority away from courts to deal with the new abortion access and reproductive rights amendment in the Ohio constitution.
After Issue 1 passed in November, some conservative state lawmakers floated the idea of taking away from courts the authority to handle cases involving the new amendment and giving that power solely to legislators instead. The idea turned up in a mass email from the conservative group Ohio Values Voters, and then appeared on the official state website for Ohio House Republicans. In that email, the proposal had the backing of Reps. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester), Bill Dean (R-Xenia), Beth Lear (R-Galena) and Melanie Miller (R-Ashland).
While some of the most conservative Ohio lawmakers liked that idea, it was not embraced by House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill). He said he supported the separation of powers in state government.
“This is 'Schoolhouse Rock'-type stuff. We need to make sure we have the three branches of government," Stephens said to reporters when asked about the proposal.
Though legal experts have said the idea was unconstitutional, that isn't stopping Gross and Dean. They have now introduced House Bill 371 anyway, which they're calling the "Issue 1 Implementation Act." They say it’s needed to prevent what they call “judicial activism.”
The bill hasn't been assigned to a committee yet but Rep. Adam Holmes (R-Nashport) has signed on as a co-sponsor.