Ohio Supreme Court Dismisses Motion Challenging House Bill 68

The Ohio Supreme Court released a decision on Wednesday dismissing an emergency motion filed by Attorney General Dave Yost asking the state’s highest court to narrow a temporary restraining order issued by Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael J. Holbrook to block the state from enforcing House Bill 68.

On April 16, Judge Holbrook issued a temporary restraining order to prevent House Bill 68 – which includes the SAFE Act and the Save Women’s Sports Act – from taking immediate effect.

The SAFE Act prevents doctors from providing minors with gender-affirming care, while the Save Women’s Sports Act prevents biological males who identify as transgender from participating in girls’ and women’s sports.

The judge’s order, in effect until a hearing is held in the case, was granted at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, which filed a lawsuit in March on behalf of two families challenging the bill.

Yost said the judge’s injunction in the case is “unlawful,” as it “applies to the entire state, rather than just the two plaintiffs who challenged the law,” saying at the time, “One judge from one county does not have more power than the governor’s veto pen.”

Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine – whose father, Governor Mike Dewine, vetoed House Bill 68 before the bill overrode a veto vote in the state legislature – concurred that while Yost’s motion should be dismissed, the overlaying question of whether it is appropriate for a judge in one county to issue an injunction affecting the entire state remains unanswered.

Pat DeWine wrote, “Although we deny the relief requested today, this case raises an important issue: Is it appropriate for one judge in a single county to issue a statewide injunction that goes beyond what is necessary to provide interim relief to the parties in the case?”

Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Brunner also agreed with the decision to dismiss the motion; however, she called Pat DeWine’s questioning of the statewide application of the lower court’s order “ludicrous.”

“To be clear, the trial court found a substantial likelihood that the enactment facially violated the single-subject rule of the Ohio Constitution,” Brunner wrote. “And if so, the enactment would be unconstitutional as applied to everyone.”

The ACLU applauded the Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday.

“This decision was correct. The state’s request was egregious. The scope of the temporary restraining order was necessary and appropriate to prevent the constitutional violations and other irreparable harm that would immediately occur if HB 68 were permitted to take effect. Our legal battle will continue until this cruel restriction is permanently overturned,” said Freda Levenson, Legal Director at the ACLU of Ohio.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Kaitlin on X / Twitter.





The post Ohio Supreme Court Dismisses Motion Challenging House Bill 68 first appeared on The Ohio Star.

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