DeWine will not challenge health order restrictions in court | News, Sports, Jobs

As Governor Mike DeWine called a bill that restricts his power to issue health orders “unconstitutional,” he says he will not challenge it in court.

DeWine aired his views on a number of topics Tuesday during an hour-plus interview with the editor and reporters of Ogden Newspapers.

DeWine said he filed a lawsuit against Senate Bill 22, which he vetoed on March 23 and was followed a day later by a legislative override, “would end in a long and protracted litigation that would take a long time.”

The bill, backed by DeWine’s Republican colleagues in the state legislature, gave them the power to overturn any health orders issued by the governor that last longer than 30 days, allowed residents to sue the constitutionality of a state emergency ordinance and limited the ability of local health authorities to force people to self-quarantine without a specific medical diagnosis.

It was DeWine’s only waiver of a veto in his more than three years as governor and was a rebuke to his COVID-19 pandemic health orders.

In his veto message, DeWine wrote: “We believe significant portions of SB 22 are unconstitutional. Parts of the bill violate the separation of powers doctrine in our Ohio Constitution, others violate” sections of the state constitution “prohibiting how laws should be made and even other parts of the bill are likely to violate” the constitution of the state “by exercising the power reserved to the judiciary”.

While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations declined when the waiver occurred, both hit record highs in recent weeks.

DeWine said during the interview: “We are at a different point now. We have the vaccine and people are also at a different point. After two years, people are fed up with masks. They are fed up with all kinds of restrictions. Part of what a leader must assess, part of what a governor must always assess is the willingness of people to adapt what I ask them to do.

He added: “These are all the things I have taken into account when I am considering putting in place a health order. What kind of distraction would that be for the public when they see this battle every day and confusion is caused when the real message and the real thing I want them to focus on is vaccinations?

DeWine said he remains focused on promoting COVID-19 vaccines and is not getting “Dragged into a mask issue or some other issue that distracts the public and prevents us from getting our message across that it’s still important for people to get vaccinated.”


Although the state legislature took no action on DeWine’s gun reform proposal, introduced in October 2019, the governor said he thinks two of his priorities could receive support from the government. General Assembly this year.

“We think my proposal was good” he said. “Every proposal would have saved lives – every part of it. But that didn’t happen. »

He is optimistic that lawmakers will approve a proposal allowing judges to increase maximum prison sentences from three years to 10 years for those found with a firearm when it is legally prohibited to have one.

“Pass this and pass a provision requiring certain offenses to be recorded in police databases,” he said. “So those are the two things we could pass. I wish we could spend the rest. I am pragmatic. I take this world as I find it and the other parts will probably not pass this legislature. I make an effort to succeed in these two pieces.

DeWine’s Strong Ohio proposal also included voluntary background checks for gun sales between private sellers, increased penalties for gun sales to minors, and allowed judges to impose harsher sentences on those convicted of crimes in which a firearm was possessed or used.

The plan came after an August 2019 mass shooting in Dayton.

DeWine backed out of supporting a red flag law — which would allow police and relatives to have weapons removed from people who pose a threat to themselves or others — due to a lack of support from legislators.

Instead, he proposed expanding pink slip laws allowing people with drug and alcohol problems to be separated from their guns while being evaluated by a doctor. It didn’t go anywhere in the legislature.


The imposition of the death penalty by the state, by lethal injection, is one “stop,” DeWine said drugmakers threatened to not sell drugs in Ohio for other reasons if they were used to carry out death sentences.

“It is currently the law and it remains the law but we do not have the capacity to apply it”, he said.

It is up to the General Assembly to find another mode of execution and the legislators have shown no interest in doing so.

When asked if he still supports the death penalty, DeWine replied: “I’m not going to dwell on it at this stage. I have other problems to deal with and this problem is not in front of me because the legislator does not take any action.

But he added: “I’ve said for a long, long time, based on my experience as a prosecutor and my experience in the criminal justice system, that you can plead the death penalty one way or another. But if you want to have an impact on violent crime and save lives, the death penalty is not the most important thing to do. The most important thing to do is to target violent offenders, arrest them and to lock them up.


DeWine said he is against the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, but is open to its expansion for medicinal purposes.

If recreational marijuana is legalized, DeWine said: “You will have two things. More kids (will be) in the ER with more kids ingesting gummy bears or anything else that’s marijuana. The second thing is that you will have more people driving under the influence and they will attack you and you will have more accidents and more people killed. So I think it’s ridiculous to add more problems to the problems we already have.

If presented with a recreational bill, DeWine said he would not sign it.

DeWine expects something to be worked out to develop medical marijuana.

“We continue to learn about this,” he said. “There are bills in the legislature that would emphasize what the individual doctor thinks will help that patient and we should allow that under regulated circumstances.”

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