Civil Rights

Medical cannabis for Browns/Bengals fans? Plus, mass incarceration and form letters

BY: - January 9, 2020

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: Sweet relief? Cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias is reporting, “Officials with Ohio’s medical marijuana program on Tuesday revealed 27 […]

Earning $19 a month in jail, man looks to Ohio Supreme Court about a $9,000 court debt

BY: - January 8, 2020

Darren Taylor will likely spend the next 30 years incarcerated, where he earns $19 per month for prison work. On top of $6,500 in restitution, a judge ordered him to pay $9,000 in court costs and rebuffed a request to waive the court fees. Now, his attorney is asking the Ohio Supreme Court a question: […]

National group: Ohio among the worst in religious equality

BY: - January 7, 2020

A national civil rights organization that monitors states’ measures regarding religious equality has called Ohio one of the worst in the country.  Citing anti-abortion legislation and a religious liberties bill, the American Atheists said religious equality is “under attack” in Ohio. “Ohio lawmakers are more interested in imposing their religious views on citizens than protecting […]

Judges’ political party can inform voters, experts and advocates say

BY: - January 6, 2020

Experts and election advocates in Ohio are seeing the positives in including a judicial candidate’s party affiliation on a general election ballot, something a new Ohio House Bill proposes to do. Late last month, House Bill 460 was introduced, which would allow judges to include their political party on the ballot, in a change from […]

Ohio policy areas to watch in 2020

BY: - January 2, 2020

Ohio legislators proposed more than 700 bills in 2019, with fewer than two-dozen being signed into law. That means the state senators and representatives have plenty more to do in 2020, the second and final year of the 133rd General Assembly. As we look ahead to this new year, here are five policy topics to […]

gavel stock photo

New Ohio House bill would allow judges to include party affiliation on ballot

BY: - December 31, 2019

A House Bill introduced during the holiday break would allow judges to run under party affiliation, which the sponsors of the bill say would allow voters to have more information about the candidates. House Bill 460 would allow judges races to become partisan in a general election, as opposed to the non-partisan ballot which also […]

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 […]