WHAT'S AT STAKE
The Ohio Supreme Court is the last line of defense for our democracy. Our state’s highest court determines whether elections are free and fair and whether district lines have been rigged to favor certain political parties and skew our elections.
Recently, when state legislators rigged district maps, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled those maps unconstitutional in a bitterly divided decision. Three Justices voted in favor of gerrymandered maps, but they were narrowly outvoted. Some politicians were so angered by the Ohio Supreme Court's refusal to authorize rigged maps, they even called for the Chief Justice to be impeached for following the law. Politicians can’t impeach judges because they don’t like their rulings — the Ohio Constitution granted courts separate and independent powers from the legislature.
This November, we will vote on three Ohio Supreme Court Justices. We need a Supreme Court that will be a check and balance on the politicians who are trying to limit our voting rights. We need a Supreme Court that will follow the Constitution and the rule of law.
The right to an abortion is at risk of being totally criminalized in Ohio. With the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on a national level, it’s up to our state supreme court to protect abortion care in Ohio and ensure every Ohioan has the freedom to decide around pregnancy and parenthood.
Hypocritically, the people passing these anti-abortion laws usually don’t care what happens to babies after they’re born. These are the same politicians who want to cut assistance programs like early childhood education or SNAP benefits.
It’s up to us to vote our values and remain committed to our vision for Ohio: a place where people respect each other’s personal decisions around pregnancy and parenthood — whether those decisions involve in vitro fertilization, giving birth, placing a child for adoption, having an abortion, or choosing not to have children at all.
Angered by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion established in Roe v. Wade? Turn that rage into action by voting for in the Ohio Supreme Court races — you as an Ohio voter have the power to elect a Supreme Court that upholds these values and protects our reproductive freedoms.
In America, you are innocent until proven guilty. And yet, low income Ohioans and people of color often can't afford to pay bail, leaving them in jail awaiting trial, sometimes for months or even years without ever being convicted of a crime. Meanwhile, wealthy people accused of the same crime can buy their freedom and return home quickly.
Several Justices on the Ohio Supreme Court have prioritized bail reform in an attempt to end our unjust bail system that sets bail too high for most individuals or their families to pay. The purpose of bail is to ensure a defendant appears in court. Bail reform means establishing fairer and more equitable standards for judges so that they set the lowest monetary amount necessary to secure each defendant’s appearance in court. In DuBose v. McGuffey, the court ruled 4-3 that public safety should not be a consideration when determining bail. Judges would still have the power to deny bail outright to defendants with a demonstrated safety risk, and to impose other release conditions along with money bail (i.e. electronic monitoring, no-contact orders with victims, etc.).
But now, some Ohio lawmakers want to stop progress on bail reform by taking power away from judges. Extremist politicians are trying to change the Ohio Constitution with House Joint Resolution 2 so that lawmakers, instead of judges, have the power to control the conditions and amounts of bail. Issue 1, which will be on the ballot in November, would effectively nullify the Ohio Supreme Court ruling and enshrine the unrestrained use of cash bail through a constitutional amendment under the guise of public safety.
We need to turn out and vote in Ohio Supreme Court races in order to make our bail system more equitable for all, so that the Court can continue to be a check and balance against politicians who want to take control of our judicial system.
No matter who we are, what we look like, or who we love, we know our communities are stronger when we can be our authentic selves, work together, and show up for each other.
Extremist legislators are trying to pass anti-LGBTQ+ bills that would remove transgender and queer people from public life, force Black people, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ people out of our jobs and homes, and deny us the ability to start a family.
Important U.S. Supreme Court cases such as Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized intimate acts between consenting same-sex adults, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized marriage as a fundamental right including LGBTQ+ people, are both rooted in case law that protects our fundamental rights to privacy. That line of case law precedent at the national level is under attack right now. It is more important than ever that our State Supreme Court will preserve our right to make our own decisions about our private lives.
Your vote in November will help shape the Ohio Supreme Court so that they can permit trans youth to play sports or receive gender-affirming care and allow everyone to be allowed to work, raise a family, and discuss LGBTQ+ families or lived experiences at public schools — no exceptions.