January 14, 2022 •
In a 4-3 decision issued on January 12, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the state House and Senate district maps drawn by Ohio Redistricting Commission are unconstitutional gerrymandering, giving Republicans a 62-37 advantage in the House and 23-10 advantage in […]
In a 4-3 decision issued on January 12, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the state House and Senate district maps drawn by Ohio Redistricting Commission are unconstitutional gerrymandering, giving Republicans a 62-37 advantage in the House and 23-10 advantage in the Senate.
The court ordered the Ohio Redistricting Commission, which is dominated by Republicans, to draw new maps in compliance with Article XI, Section 6 of the Ohio Constitution.
The new plan must be adopted within 10 days and the Ohio Supreme Court retains its authority to review any rewrites.
The decision was based in part on the fact that Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved changes to the state constitution to limit partisan line-drawing in 2015.
September 25, 2015 •
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ohio Supreme Court candidate Colleen O’Toole’s motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of an Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 4.4(E). This rule imposes restrictions on when a judicial campaign committee […]
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ohio Supreme Court candidate Colleen O’Toole’s motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of an Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 4.4(E). This rule imposes restrictions on when a judicial campaign committee may solicit and receive campaign contributions. Judicial candidate committees for 2016 may begin soliciting and receiving contributions no earlier than 120 days before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March and may continue to accept contributions until 120 days after the general election.
O’Toole’s campaign committee claims the rule violates the First Amendment by restricting political speech and it violates the Fourteenth Amendment by treating judicial campaign committees differently than other political organizations. The committee failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of any claim.
While the contribution restrictions may not be the least restrictive means of maintaining public confidence in judicial integrity, the court found the regulation need only be narrowly tailored, not perfectly tailored. Moreover, perfect tailoring would be impossible given the intangible nature of public confidence.
The court also found it permissible to treat judicial campaign committees differently than political action committees and other political organizations because of the unique nature of judicial elections. Interests in maintaining the integrity, impartiality, and independence of the judiciary are inherently different from those implicated by other political campaigns. More simply, judicial elections may be regulated differently than political elections because the role of judges differs from that of politicians.
September 13, 2012 •
Keep up with the latest lobbying, campaign finance, government ethics, redistricting, and social media news with these articles:
“Lobbyists Keep Busy Despite Legislative Lull” by Kate Ackley in Roll Call.
“How Many Lobbyists Are Really Breaking the Law?” by Elahe Izadi in the National Journal.
Montana: “Republicans ask court to axe Montana’s campaign contribution laws” by Matt Gouras (Associated Press) in The Republic.
New Jersey: “Political action committees gave $18M to N.J. campaigns last year, analysis shows” by Matt Friedman in the Trenton Times.
Ohio: “Ohio Supreme Court says ballot summary for redistricting issue is inaccurate” by Joe Guillen in the Plain Dealer.
Pennsylvania: “Supreme Court to hear redistricting arguments today” in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“HHS chief violated law restricting political activity, OSC finds” by Eric Katz in Government Executive.
“Scandals are making uphill battles even steeper for some lawmakers” by Alexandra Jaffe in The Hill.
Alaska: “APOC says Senate candidate failed to disclose clients” by Richard Mauer in the Anchorage Daily News.
Social Media and tech
“You Gotta Have Friends: New Study Shows Facebook Can Get Out the Vote” by Micah L. Sifry in TechPresident.
“Study: Facebook drove turnout in 2010” by Steve Friess in Politico.
“Facebook to Cities: Change Page Names, or Else” by Noelle Knell in Governing.
“Web pioneer providing voter database for free” by Gregory Korte in USA Today.
August 13, 2010 •
The Supreme Court of Ohio has amended the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct regarding rules governing the solicitation of campaign contributions by judicial candidates.
Rule 4.4 continues to bar judicial candidates from personally receiving or soliciting campaign contributions, but, under the revisions announced Wednesday, two new exceptions are available to judicial candidates. First, a judicial candidate may make a general request for campaign contributions when speaking to an audience of twenty or more persons. Second, a judicial candidate may sign letters soliciting campaign contributions if the letters are for distribution by the judicial candidate’s campaign committee and the letters direct contributions are to be sent to the campaign committee and not the judicial candidate.
The Justices voted 4-1 to amend Rule 4.4 with Justice Paul Pfeifer voting no and Chief Justice Eric Brown and Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger not participating as both are on the ballot this November. The Supreme Court’s move took place in response to a U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling which struck down similar rules for judicial candidates in Kentucky.
Here is the text from the announcement on the Ohio Supreme Court Web site:
The amended solicitation rule continues to bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting or receiving campaign contributions, but establishes two new exceptions to the personal solicitation ban. … Those exceptions are:
- “A judicial candidate may make a general request for campaign contributions when speaking to an audience of twenty or more individuals;”
- “A judicial candidate may sign letters soliciting campaign contributions if the letters are for distribution by the judicial candidate’s campaign committee and the letters direct contributions to be sent to the campaign committee and not to the judicial candidate.”
The amendments to Rule 4.4 became effective on August 12, 2010.
Photo of the Ohio Judicial Center.
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