Mike DeWine Only Respects the Rule Of Law When it Benefits Him Politically
August 16, 2022
Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, the Ohio Capital Journal today showed how Mike DeWine is playing politics when it comes to respecting the courts and the rule of law in Ohio. DeWine has praised the court and followed the law when it does what he wants while he’s been critical and broken the law when it doesn’t. For example, despite several Supreme Court order to pass fair maps, DeWine ignored those orders and rubberstamped GOP-gerrymandered maps time and time again.
It’s the latest example of how DeWine will always put his own political interests over the interests of the working Ohioans he was elected to represent.
“Mike DeWine’s politicization of the courts and the rule of law is another reminder to Ohio voters that he’s only looking out for himself and the special interests lining his pockets. This isn’t leadership, it’s political phoniness, and Ohio voters deserve better, ” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Matt Keyes.
Read more from Ohio Capital Journal’s Marty Schladen here and below:
- Just after he signed a bill dramatically restricting abortion on April 11, 2019, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine expressed great respect for the courts and the rule of law. But more than three years later — in a case involving Republican gerrymandering — DeWine’s staff seems to be saying he doesn’t have to listen to the courts if he disagrees with their reasoning.
- While abortion and redistricting are separate issues, one of the most prominent journalists in the United States earlier this month showed how they’re related. Gerrymandered statehouses — particularly Ohio’s — are responsible for corruption and increasingly extreme, unpopular laws, such as Ohio’s abortion restrictions, she reported.
- In 2019, DeWine signed Senate Bill 23, which bans all abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy unless it can be shown that they pose an imminent threat of killing or seriously impairing the mother.
- In the 2019 speech celebrating the new abortion restrictions, DeWine expressed a deep reverence for the courts and the rule of law.
- But that hasn’t been the case when it comes to DeWine’s service on the Republican-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission. The body was set up pursuant to constitutional amendments overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2015 and 2018 that were aimed at easing partisan gerrymandering in Ohio, one of the most gerrymandered states.
- Political scientists say that by drawing districts that aren’t competitive, legislatures fuel extremism. That’s because elections are essentially decided in party primaries, in which the most passionate members of the parties’ bases are most likely to vote. And that gives elected officials a powerful incentive to cater to those voters.
- In The New Yorker earlier this month, journalist Jane Mayer wrote that because of supermajorities elected by the most extreme elements of the Republican base, the legislature is passing bills such as the 2019 abortion law. It did so even though its provisions are very unpopular with most Ohioans, she wrote.
- Mayer also wrote that uncompetitive elections have produced policies that have hollowed out Ohio’s public school system and produced epic corruption scandals, such as one in which a utility corruptly spent $61 million to get lawmakers to pass a $1.3 billion ratepayer bailout, which DeWine signed into law.
- The deeper harm caused by extreme gerrymandering in Ohio and elsewhere is reflected in the article’s title. Under images of the Buckeye State, it says “State Legislatures are Torching Democracy.”
- When more than 70% of voters supported legislative redistricting reform in 2015, most believed they were voting for a legislature that more closely resembles the partisan makeup of the state. But the five Republicans on the seven-member redistricting commission have repeatedly passed maps that would give up only a little power in a Statehouse they dominate so thoroughly and disproportionately.
- DeWine and the rest of the Republican majority have five times submitted maps that the Republican-controlled Ohio Supreme Court has rejected as unconstitutional. And they have been rejected over the “yes” votes of DeWine’s son, a justice who has refused to recuse himself even though some ethics experts say he has a clear conflict of interest because his father is a member of the commission.