Ohio voted 56.6 to 43.4 percent to put the right to abortion in its state constitution. The very next day, Republicans were vowing to overturn that election. Overturning elections is a growing Republican Party trend, but it’s possible that even Donald Trump would hesitate to try it with a 13 percentage point margin of victory where the top election official was a Republican.
Ohio Republicans are in the “throw things at the wall and see what sticks” phase of trying to undo what their state’s voters did, as a press release from the Ohio House of Representatives Republican newsroom clearly shows.
There’s the “ignore the margin, the election was stolen anyway” argument, which state Rep. Jennifer Gross made. “Foreign billionaires don't get to make Ohio laws,” she said, adding, “This is foreign election interference, and it will not stand.” She’s talking about money from the George Soros-backed Open Society Policy Center. Soros was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1961, the expenditures were made according to U.S. law, and if a few million dollars could reliably swing elections toward progressive issues or candidates in Ohio, it’s safe to say the past few elections would have gone very differently. Ohio voters made this Ohio law. They’re adults who made up their own minds.
Then there are some Republicans gearing up to pretend that this amendment doesn’t mean what it says and that it needs the legislature to step in and say what it really means. “Issue 1 doesn't repeal a single Ohio law, in fact, it doesn't even mention one,” according to state Rep. Bill Dean. And that’s the opening he hopes to exploit, or, as he put it, “The amendment’s language is dangerously vague and unconstrained, and can be weaponized to attack parental rights or defend rapists, pedophiles, and human traffickers.”
While there are significant issues left to litigate, with the courts needing to decide which current abortion restrictions are allowed following the Issue 1 vote and which ones to strike down, state House Republicans are clearly very nervous about how that will go in the courts. According to their press release:
To prevent mischief by pro-abortion courts with Issue 1, Ohio legislators will consider removing jurisdiction from the judiciary over this ambiguous ballot initiative. The Ohio legislature alone will consider what, if any, modifications to make to existing laws based on public hearings and input from legal experts on both sides.
How’s that for an announcement of a planned power grab? They lost big in August on the vote attempting to make it more difficult to pass abortion rights. They lost big in November. Now, they’re looking ahead to losing in the courts—so they’re laying the groundwork to steal this election by stealing power from the courts.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.