NFIB Files Amicus Brief in Ohio Arguing State Election Laws are Constitutional for Ballot Initiatives

Date: July 24, 2020

Thompson v. DeWine questions constitutionality of Ohio legal procedures as applied to ballot initiatives 

NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case Thompson v. DeWine arguing that Ohio’s election laws are constitutional as applied to ballot initiatives. Appellees filed this action asserting that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they cannot collect the number of signatures required to support their initiatives getting on the November 2020 ballot.

“Over recent years, Ohio has seen a rash of outside interests attempting to add to Ohio’s Constitution, some for their own personal gain. With all of the challenges brought on during the current pandemic, the last thing small business owners need is greater uncertainty caused by rushing unvetted issues to this November’s ballot,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.

The case primarily concerns whether Ohio’s legal procedures for ballot initiatives, which contain “in person” components, are constitutional. NFIB argues that the laws applying to ballot initiatives are neutral in their application to all Ohioans and, therefore, do not violate any person’s First Amendment rights.

NFIB filed this amicus brief with the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, and the Ohio Business Roundtable in support of the state of Ohio’s position.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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