Civil Rights

New year, new court fight over Down syndrome abortion

BY: - December 30, 2019

The new year will bring new discussions on a law that prohibited abortions after a Down syndrome diagnosis. A panel of judges for the 6th United States Circuit Court of Appeals set a new hearing date for March 11, and a briefing schedule starting Jan. 13 in the case pitting a Cleveland women’s health clinic […]

Judge and father make the case for criminal sentencing reform bill 

BY: - December 20, 2019

This is the hardest time of year for Charles “Chip” Jenkins. The holiday season makes him think of his son, Alex.  “I used to enjoy Christmas,” the Medina County native said, his voice drifting off. “But now? It’s just different.” Alex died of an overdose five years ago at the age of 26. Jenkins now […]

Senators reverse course on criminal reform bill amendment

BY: - December 17, 2019

ACLU of Ohio pledges support once again on SB 3  Members of the Judiciary Committee unanimously decided to strip an amendment from Senate Bill 3 that had included stricter penalties for drug offenses under certain conditions. Those penalties came from adding language from the separate Senate Bill 55.  Some proponents of SB 3 had responded […]

Gun advocates argue for removal of ‘duty to retreat’ in Ohio

BY: - December 13, 2019

A third hearing on a bill to remove the duty to retreat from a self-defense law was eventful and testy at times on Wednesday in its state Senate committee.  Senate Bill 237 would expand the current law, often called the Castle Doctrine, which gives Ohio residents legal standing to use force to defend their home […]

Front license plates still needed in Ohio, police tell lawmakers 

BY: - December 12, 2019

Sgt. Richard Forney has a clear reason why he believes Ohio should require two license plates on vehicles: the presence of the front plate helped his department solve the 2017 murder of Reagan Tokes. The Grove City Police Department sergeant was involved in the Tokes murder investigation. Shortly after Tokes’ body was found dead in […]

gavel stock photo

Bill on rape statutes addresses marital rape loophole

BY: - December 12, 2019

With bipartisan support on the issue of removing the statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault in Ohio, legislators are hoping a bill recently introduced in the state Senate would also remove a loophole involving marital rights. Senate Bill 162 seeks to remove the statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault, which currently […]

Tax credit for donors to anti-abortion pregnancy centers moves toward full Ohio House vote

BY: - December 12, 2019

A bill giving a tax credit to donors for pregnancy centers who promote carrying a pregnancy to term was approved in the state House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, moving it toward a full House vote. Supporters and critics of House Bill 297 made their cases in the fourth committee hearing on the bill, […]

A voting location

U.S. House passes legislation to crack down on voter suppression

BY: - December 7, 2019

The U.S. House passed legislation on Friday that would give the federal government broader authority to police voting rights violations across the country.  The bill, a top priority for House Democrats, passed by a vote of 228-187, with just one Republican — Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania — breaking party ranks to vote for the […]

Bipartisan state senators working to protect domestic violence survivors from gun violence

BY: - December 6, 2019

Just before Thanksgiving this year, Logan resident Natalie Nutter filed for divorce from her husband, Kevin. Weeks prior, Kevin Nutter, also of Logan, pleaded guilty to violating a protection order Natalie had filed against him, which she’d received after he’d made threats against her and her family. In exchange for his guilty plea, Kevin Nutter […]

Dayton shooting, universal background checks brought up in gun reform bill hearing

BY: - December 5, 2019

Supporters of gun reform measures proposed by Gov. Mike DeWine said the legislation would be an important first step in curbing gun violence, but wouldn’t agree that universal background checks were a better solution. The Committee for Government Oversight and Reform met Wednesday to hear proponent testimony as they review Senate Bill 221, which proposes […]

Ohio Senate Chambers

Supporters of ‘Duty to Retreat Act’ testify before Senate committee

BY: - December 5, 2019

A committee of state senators took another look Tuesday at a proposed change to the self-defense law that would eliminate the legal requirement for a person to try to escape an aggressor before fighting back with deadly force. Members of Ohioans for Concealed Carry and Ohio Gun Owners testified in support of Senate Bill 237, […]

A medical exam room.

Ohio abortion bills by the numbers: Here’s what’s pending

BY: - December 3, 2019

A number of abortion-related bills have passed at least one chamber of the Ohio legislature, or are being reviewed currently within the Statehouse. Legislation that would effectively ban abortions after about six weeks — Senate Bill 23 — passed the Senate in April with 18 votes in favor and 13 opposed. The House approved the […]