COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio’s highest court has rejected a lawsuit seeking to block state lawmakers from passing pandemic-related legislation.
In a unanimous decision Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed five Ohio residents’ claims that a 2011 amendment to the state constitution prohibits legislators from enacting or enforcing any law requiring Ohioans to participate in a health care system, according to the court’s opinion.
The residents and plaintiffs in the case argued that since March 2020, Ohio elected officials subjected constituents “to ongoing violations of this constitutional provision,” asking the court to forbid lawmakers from approving “future encroachments on Ohioans’ liberty,” according to their original October 2021 complaint against members of the Ohio General Assembly.
“Citizens were required to wear alleged medical devices, provide DNA samples, testing their temperature, requiring vaccinations, contact tracing and among other activities that would be considered health care services as well as private and public data based [sic] being created and collecting health care data and or health care information by way of compulsion,” the plaintiffs’ complaint reads.
In its opinion, the court said it has no jurisdiction to grant the plaintiffs’ request, as the separation of powers between Ohio’s branches of government prohibits the justices from ordering Ohio lawmakers to either enact or reject certain legislation.
While Justice Sharon Kennedy argued that “this case raises significant constitutional issues regarding the limits of state government,” she agreed with the court’s majority in finding that the plaintiffs failed to prove they were entitled to court intervention in the duties of state lawmakers.
“Although I recognize the weighty constitutional questions that relators have raised, principles of judicial restraint preclude this court from answering them today,” Kennedy wrote.