Posted: May 8, 2012
NEOCH Plaintiffs File Motion to Halt Legislators' Ohio Supreme Court Action
The Plaintiffs in the federal NEOCH v. Brunner case filed a motion today in the district court to enjoin related proceedings in the Ohio Supreme Court instituted by Ohio legislators Thomas Niehaus and Louis Blessing. The NEOCH plaintiffs are asking the district court to enjoin the legislators from further prosecuting the state court proceedings and show cause why they are not in contempt for violating the district court's 2010 consent decree. The legislators' mandamus action in the Ohio Supreme Court seeks an order requiring the Ohio Secretary of State to rescind directives issued pursuant to the consent decree. The directives permit provisional ballots to be counted even if cast in the wrong precinct or if some signature requirements are not fully complied with for reasons attributable to poll-worker error. The legislators assert that the Ohio Secretary of State did not have the authority under the Ohio Constitution to issue the directives because the directives effectively amend law created by the legislature.