Civil Rights

Ohio Supreme Court: Previous sexual activity protected under rape-shield law

BY: - April 23, 2020

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled this week that previous sexual activity can’t be used as evidence against an accuser in rape cases. In an opinion released Wednesday, the high court upheld the conviction of Cedric Jeffries, convicted of kidnapping and rape. In the unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the state’s rape-shield law applies […]

Voting by mail gains traction, but advocates warn it’s not ‘a panacea’

BY: - April 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — As the COVID-19 virus continues to sweep the country, voting rights advocates are demanding Congress fully fund a national vote-by-mail program so people aren’t forced to choose between their health and their right to vote. But for large swaths of the population, voting by mail isn’t a viable option. The voting debacle in […]

‘Much worse than a cruise ship’: Prisoners’ lives at risk from COVID-19

BY: - April 6, 2020

WASHINGTON — More than 2 million people are incarcerated in the United States. That’s more people than there are living in major U.S. cities like Phoenix and Philadelphia. They’re particularly vulnerable to health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They live in close-quarters. Many are elderly or pregnant. Many also have pre-existing medical conditions that put them […]

Stay-at-home order is a hardship for those living with abusers

BY: - March 31, 2020

Ohio’s coronavirus stay-at-home order can be an inconvenience for people across the state, but for those being subjected to domestic violence, home confinement can add to an already damaging situation. Advocates for domestic violence survivors say they understand the need for Ohioans to stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, but they know there are some […]

Bills to prevent utility shutoffs, evictions and foreclosures introduced in Ohio House

BY: - March 23, 2020

Two separate bills have been introduced in the Ohio House to address economic hardships stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, including one to prevent evictions and foreclosures and the other to prevent utility shutoffs. On Sunday, state Reps. David Leland, D-Columbus, and Jeffrey Crossman, D-Parma, introduced a bipartisan bill to put a stop to evictions and […]

Ohio Attorney General says courts may suspend jury trials during pandemic

BY: - March 18, 2020

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued a formal opinion Wednesday that courts may suspend jury trials to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, and that they may do so consistent with state and federal speedy-trial obligations, a press release announced. “Only the trial court can continue a case,” Yost said. “This opinion is a […]

Secretary of State announces more polls to be relocated amid COVID-19 fears

BY: and - March 10, 2020

Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced plans Tuesday to relocate at least 125 polling locations just seven days before primary voting begins, a number that has swelled as a result of mounting COVID-19 related concerns. At a press conference, LaRose said he could not immediately say how many voters are among those assigned to those […]

With voter expansion referendum in pieces, ACLU asks Supreme Court to step in

BY: - March 6, 2020

A political group asked the Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday to reverse the state Ballot Board’s decision to dissect its referendum into four separate parts. The proposed referendum would have allowed for automatic voter registration, Election Day registration, and other provisions.  Ohioans for Secure and Fair Elections, an offshoot of the ACLU of Ohio, submitted […]

Push for death penalty elimination continues with upcoming legislation

BY: - March 6, 2020

Current and former legislators, religious leaders and advocacy groups came together Wednesday to announce an upcoming bill to eliminate the death penalty in Ohio. State Sen. Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood, brought the groups together to promote the concept of life without parole being the highest criminal punishment in the state. The legislator has introduced a bill […]

Liberal Supreme Court justices challenge abortion restrictions in high-stakes case

BY: - March 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — The liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared highly skeptical of a Louisiana law that restricts abortion access as the justices heard oral arguments Wednesday in a high-stakes case that could open the door for additional abortion limitations around the country. But the court’s conservative majority — which is likely to determine […]

LGBTQ+ protections, pet euthanasia, women’s policy, and the impacts of racism

BY: - March 4, 2020

Whiplash. NPR is reporting that under the Trump administration, Obama-era policies aimed at protecting LGBTQ people have been rescinded one by one. “The Trump administration is — tit for tat — … trying to reverse-engineer every single one of those advances,” one law professor says. The pound. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles is reporting, “Bill Would Ban Use Of […]

Major abortion case heads to U.S. Supreme Court this week

BY: - March 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in a high-profile abortion case that’s rooted in Louisiana but could have major implications in states around the country. The case, June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, centers on a Louisiana law that requires any physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a […]