The Rundown

A trial where the jury’s already made up their minds

By: - December 9, 2019 9:35 am

Each day in our newsletter, we are highlighting stories and commentary from other media big and small throughout Ohio and the nation. If you’d like to get this feature directly to your inbox, please sign up for our newsletter here. 

Catching our eye:

‘Peachment. This looks to be a big week in American history as U.S. House Democrats are preparing to bring articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

The White House has rejected House Democrats’ invitation to participate in the impeachment process, with the Washington Post reporting Trump is instead “largely looking to the Republican-controlled Senate to wage a full defense.

As a juror in any Senate impeachment trial, Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says he has already reached his verdict (which means he’d never make it through voir dire in a normal trial).

The Columbus Dispatch’s Randy Ludlow reports Portman has decided Trump is not guilty, before hearing the charges or evidence at trial. Portman endorsed Trump for reelection back in January.

The heart of the matter. Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce writes, “Trump’s High Crime Was to Assault Every American’s Right to Free and Fair Elections.” He highlighted the testimony of Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan, who pointed to President George Washington’s warnings about foreign interference in American politics:

“It takes the right away from the American people, and it turns that into a right that foreign governments decide to interfere for their own benefit. Foreign governments don’t interfere in our elections to benefit us, they interfere to benefit themselves.”

I would say this is the heart of the matter. Any foreign intervention in our elections is dangerous, and an assault on our Republic’s most fundamental institution. A sitting president inviting foreign intervention is a flagrant betrayal of the oath of office.

Report cards. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, “A study by lawmakers of the state’s often-criticized school report cards is due on December 15. As the deadline approaches, Gov. Mike DeWine is signaling that he’d be O.K. with lawmakers once again making changes to that system.”

Ohio has been using onerous standardized testing and report cards to evaluate schools and districts. While school performance and accountability is important, that’s not the purpose of testing. Testing is supposed to be one of many tools teachers use to evaluate their students. Giving schools and districts F’s doesn’t improve performance. Investing in them does.

Ohio’s report card system has led to a variety of negative consequences, including already-struggling districts losing money and resources, which only furthers their struggles.

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David DeWitt
David DeWitt

OCJ Editor-in-Chief and Columnist David DeWitt has been covering government, politics, and policy in Ohio since 2007, including education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, state and local government, business, labor, energy, environment, and social issues. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS, and He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and is a board member of the E.W. Scripps Society of Alumni and Friends. He can be found on Twitter @DC_DeWitt