Ohio GOP Lawmakers Seek to Limit Judicial Interpretation of Abortion Rights with Proposed Bill: Issue 1

In an effort to contest the recently passed abortion rights amendment, several Republican lawmakers are aiming to strip the judicial branch of its authority to interpret the amendment. This move comes after Ohio voters approved protections for abortion and other reproductive rights on Tuesday with a 57-43% vote in favor. Despite the public’s support, the Republican lawmakers, including Jennifer Gross, Bill Dean, Melanie Miller, and Beth Lear, have issued a news release proposing to remove the judiciary’s jurisdiction over the ambiguous ballot initiative.

In a similar statement, Ohio Value Voters, an anti-abortion organization, echoed the sentiment shared by Gross, expressing their intention to withdraw judicial jurisdiction to prevent the potential misapplication of Issue 1. Meanwhile, Speaker Jason Stephens declined to comment on the matter, and Judge Paul Pfeifer of the Ohio Judicial Conference opposed the proposal, arguing that the Supreme Court of Ohio has the final authority to arbitrate constitutional issues.

The Idea received pushback from the Issue 1 campaign, with a spokesman denouncing it as further undesirable behavior from Republican lawmakers. The proposal also sparked a response from House Minority Leader Allison Russo, who admonished the attempt to undermine the bipartisan will of the people.

The issue faces further controversy within the GOP-controlled Legislature, with Democratic lawmakers announcing plans to introduce a bill to repeal abortion restrictions and protect against discrimination because of abortions. As the situation unfolds, with numerous parties weighing in on the matter, the political climate in Ohio remains unpredictable.

Jessie Balmert contributed to this report for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, with her original article appearing in the Cincinnati Enquirer. For the full story, visit the Cincinnati Enquirer.


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