Ohio Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit targeting vaccine lottery
Pictured is the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center where the Ohio Supreme Court meets. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons..
The Ohio Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit Thursday that alleged the state’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery program was an illegal spend and that mask mandates violate a Holocaust-era ethics doctrine around experiments with human subjects.
The court dismissed the suit on legal grounds like standing and jurisdiction and left alone the vaccine conspiracy theories that undergirded the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs, Ohio Stands Up — a group of citizens who have filed multiple lawsuits challenging mask mandates and vaccines — sought to block the “Vax-a-Million” lottery. They sought to do so to “prevent child abuse and the criminal battery of children in Oho by dangerous experimental and untested DNA altering poisonous mRNA shots.”
The suit accused Gov. Mike DeWine of violating the Nuremberg Code, a set of principles that emerged after the Holocaust and guide the ethics of conducting experiments on people. They emphasize obtaining consent of the subject. Ohio Stands Up cited mask mandates as one violation, and baselessly alleged that vaccinated people “emit spiked protein cells,” turning them into “biological weapon[s]” who could harm unvaccinated people.
Overwhelming real-world research indicates COVID-19 vaccines have been safe for their more than 200 million American recipients and are powerful protectors against hospitalization and death from the disease.
In a concurring opinion, Justice Sharon Kennedy agreed the court should dismiss the lawsuit for legal shortcomings, but noted “I express no opinion regarding the weighty constitutional issues that Ohio Stands Up raises.”
Robert Gargasz, an attorney for Ohio Stands Up, said in an email the court ruling means that “Ohioans will need to be protected in the first instances by judges now occupying the Common Please Courts in all of Ohio’s 88 counties.”
When asked if he stands by his claim that vaccinated people are “biological weapons,” Gargasz responded with a string of 20 emails citing sources including the prominent anti-vaccine group Children’s Health Defense, a blog titled “welovetrump.com” and an article titled “MEDICAL HOLOCAUST against children.”
A spokesman for DeWine declined comment, as he said is the governor’s policy on “frivolous” lawsuits.
The dismissal Thursday is the latest loss for Ohio Stands Up on mostly procedural grounds — judges have by and large refrained from getting into some of the dubious medical claims inside. Earlier this year, the group dropped a similar lawsuit against the state Health Department regarding COVID-19 policy after U.S. District Judge James Carr called their allegations nearly “incomprehensible” and some of the supporting evidence to be of “dubious provenance and admissibility.”
The attorney on that case, Thomas Renz, has also filed six other lawsuits in federal courts around the country making similar claims, sometimes on behalf of national anti-vaccine activist group America’s Frontline Doctors.
Judges in Kentucky, Maine and Ohio have dismissed those lawsuits (some are under appeal), according to a search of federal court records. His lawsuits against New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, another in Alabama against the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and another suit against DeWine in Ohio remain open.
Previous lawsuits have identified individual members of Ohio Stands Up, including state board of education member Kirsten Hill. However, Hill said in an email Wednesday she was not involved with the Supreme Court effort, which doesn’t personally identify any of the plaintiffs.
Ohio Stands Up has raised nearly $149,000 through a GoFundMe account, with donations used to “continuously fund legal services” through Renz and Gargasz. The page hosts a message from Renz, who did not respond to an email, written in July.
“The lie is coming unraveled but the most dangerous animal is a cornered animal,” the post from Renz states. “We need to fight harder now than ever or trust me when I say that vaccine mandates and permanent lockdowns will be reality.”
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