Ohio Judge: Health Dept Director Has No Authority to Issue Mask, Distancing and Other Orders

Ashland, Ohio – An Ohio judge ruled that the Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) does not have the authority to issue mask mandates, social distancing or other types of mandates since Ohio law does not give the agency such stated or implied authority.

Ashland County Common Pleas Judge Ron Forsthoefel wrote that the ODH only has ultimate authority in matters of isolation and quarantine – matters the legislature defined in Senate Bill22, the law enacted when the General Assembly overrode Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of the bill last month.

The case Forsthoefel judged involved Cattlemans Restaurant and the Ashland County Health Department – the latter which issued a cease and desist order against the restaurant for an alleged violation of the COVID-related Dine Safe Order.

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Ohio Consolidates COVID Restrictions

Gov. Mike DeWine COVID press briefing

During the Monday COVID briefing Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud would release a consolidated order to simplify state-imposed COVID restrictions.

The “order does consolidate several orders and transfers important items we want to focus on into one order,” said McCloud. The crux of the order will be “the mask, staying in smaller groups, distancing from others, sanitizing.”

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Four Republican Lawmakers Stand with Democrats in Attempt to Uphold Governor’s Shutdown Power

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four lawmakers – State Senators Matt Dolan (R-Cuyahoga) and Stephanie Kunze (R-Dublin), and State Representatives Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) and Andrea White (R-Kettering) – were the sole Republicans that did not cast a vote to override Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a measure that limits his authority to issue orders during an emergency.

Senate Bill 22 (SB22) is aimed at rebalancing power by giving the Ohio Legislature oversight of government rules and orders. Chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) was the point man in the lower chamber on the legislation, which passed overwhelmingly earlier this month.

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DeWine Will Veto Bill Tuesday that Limits his Unchecked Power, State Senator Says They Will Override Wednesday

COLUMBUS, Ohio – During a Monday COVID briefing, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine said he will veto Senate Bill 22 (SB22) on Tuesday – a proposed law that provides scope and duration to government power during public health emergencies.  After the veto, the bill would then go where it originated, the Ohio Senate. There it could be brought to a veto-override vote.

Ohio Senator Andrew Brenner (R-District 19) told The Ohio Star he believes the upper chamber will consider and override the bill as early as Wednesday – an override would require 20 “yes” votes. It passed the Senate 25-8 the first time.

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Ohio Bill Giving Lawmakers Oversight of Emergency Declarations and Orders Sent to Gov. DeWine

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Wednesday afternoon Senate Bill 22 passed the Ohio House by a vote of 57 to 37.  Five Republicans did not cast a vote – Paul Zeltwanger (Mason), Tracy Richardson (Marysville), Mike Loychik (Bazetta), Jeff LaRe (Violet Twp.), and Ron Ferguson (Wintersville).

One Republican, Nino Vitale, voted against the bill despite being an outspoken opponent to the DeWine Administration’s pandemic health orders. Vitale was also one of a handful of lawmakers who supported articles of impeachment based on alleged executive overreach during the state’s handling of COVID.

The Senate concurred on the House changes so now SB22 will be sent to Governor DeWine where he has the choice to approve, veto or do nothing – in the event of the latter, the bill would become a law after 10 days.

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Anonymous Internet Accusations Point FBI to Former Ohio Senate Candidate

Last week, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents made an unannounced visit to the home of a Marysville woman who was in Washington, D.C. on January 6 – the day a crowd entered the U.S. Capitol and the incident turned violent, resulting in an officer fatally shooting a woman and four others dying from medical emergencies. 

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Following Full Republican Support, Senate Bill to Establish Legislative Oversight of Governor’s and Agency Orders Now in Ohio House

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senate Bill to Establish Legislative Oversite of Governor’s and Agency Orders Now in Ohio House

Last Wednesday Ohio Senate Bill 22 (SB22) passed the upper chamber 25-8 – all Republicans were in favor, all Democrats opposed.

SB22 was introduced by primary sponsors Terry Johnson (R-District 14) and Rob McColley (R-District 1) and establishes legislative oversight to the Governor’s and health orders.  

In its original form, the bill granted the General Assembly authority to immediately rescind a public health state of emergency declaration along with rules and orders the Governor and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued related to a public a health state of emergency.

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State Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Reimburse Fines and Expunge Records for Ohio Businesses

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) introduced a bill Wednesday that would both expunge the records of businesses cited for COVID violations and return fines and penalties paid. Upon its introduction, House Bill 127 was assigned to the House State and Local Government Committee on Thursday. HB127…

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Ohio Mother Flagged for Three Charges After Not Masking at Middle-School Football Game

Since The Ohio Star broke the story about Alecia Kitts, the Marietta mom who was tased and arrested for not wearing a mask, the incident got the attention of Breitbart, TheBlaze, HuffPost, Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro, and Covington Catholic High student Nick Sandmann’s attorney Lin Wood.

The Ohio Department of Health has issued a plethora of orders since march, including a statewide mask mandate announced by Governor Mike DeWine on July 22 – effective July 23, with exemptions. The mask mandate was the catalyst to the situation involving Kitts that unfolded in Logan, Ohio on Wednesday, September 23.

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Ohio Judge Castigates DeWine, Acton Over Their ‘Oppressive’ Shutdown of Gyms

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, working on behalf of 35 independent gyms, struck a significant win for their right to exist by persuading a court to rule against Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton’s “oppressive” shutdown of their businesses.

The Ohio Court of Common Pleas in Lake County on Wednesday handed down a decision that castigated DeWine and the health department director and granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the gym owners from being prosecuted for opening while awaiting a court trial. The ruling is available in its entirety here.

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