Judges Say AG Must Stop Blocking Police Immunity Ban

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – On May 29, a three-judge panel for the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost must stop blocking a measure where voters would decide the fate of a constitutional amendment that would ban qualified immunity.

Banning qualified immunity would allow police or government employees to be sued by people claiming the police or government employees had violated their constitutional rights. The group Ohio Coalition to End Qualified Immunity has tried eight times to get Yost’s approval of language in a constitutional amendment that would eliminate qualified immunity. However, Yost has repeatedly rejected the measure, stating the proposed summary language does not fairly and accurately represent what the measure would do. After his March 14 rejection, the group filed a lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court against Yost.

The panel’s 2-1 ruling split along party lines, with an appointee of former President Donald Trump in the minority. The ruling, which overturned a lower federal court ruling, found Yost’s actions constituted a “severe burden” for organizers, who must gather the signatures of 413,000 registered voters by July 3 for the measure to appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The panel ordered Yost to forward the proposal to the Republican-led Ohio Ballot Board to determine if the proposed measure represents one or more constitutional amendments. Once the board makes its decision, organizers would then be able to start to gather the required signatures.

The three-judge panel also rejected Yost’s argument that the case belongs to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Yost plans to appeal to the full U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, with his office noting that the panel’s ruling did not determine if his decision on the summary language was correct. The communications director for Yost’s office, Bethany McCorkle, stated, “the order is sending an unfair, untruthful summary” to voters if Yost’s decision on the summary language was correct.

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