Dennis M. Parish: A name northwest Ohio gun owners need to remember at the polls
By Chad D. Baus
When it comes to protecting your Constitutional right to bear arms, some of the most important poliitcal contests are often the least noted by the media and as such least understood by voters. This can certainly be said of the race for Sixth District Court of Appeals Judge.
Although he has been campaigning non-stop for the past year or more, it is likely that few gun owners (not to mention the average lesser-informed voter) in northwest Ohioans are familiar with the name Dennis M. Parish. This is a condition needs to change.
Courts of Appeal hears cases from the municipal, county, and Common Pleas courts located in the counties that comprise the district. The Courts consist of five judges who hear cases in three judge panels on a rotating basis. All cases and original actions are randomly assigned to each judge.
As was noted on this website recently, Ohio's Sixth District Court of Appeals can be considered to be the most liberal Appeals court in the state, offering up rulings that rival the (Federal) 9th Circuit Court infamous for ruling against the Pledge of Allegiance. Even the Republicans on the Sixth District Court often seem to have a problem with the notion that the Constitution means what it says. But there is one notable, consistent exception: Judge Dennis M. Parish.
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From his website:
- Judge Parish received his Bachelor of Education degree and his Juris Doctor from The University of Toledo. He began his legal career in 1982 as an assistant Lucas County Prosecutor. He was appointed to the bench as a Referee in the Lucas County Juvenile Court in 1984. In 1986, Judge Parish was appointed Referee (later Magistrate) in the Wood County Juvenile Probate Court. He returned to the Lucas County Juvenile Court in 1997 and was named Senior Magistrate in 1999.
Judge Parish served on the Governor's Juvenile Justice Task Force and was selected by the Ohio Supreme Court as Ohio's representative to the national Uniform Interstate Family Support Act Conference in Washington D.C. He was the only magistrate to serve on the Ohio Courts Futures Commission, and just the second magistrate appointed to the Ohio Judicial College's Board of Trustees.
Judge Parish is a curriculum planner and instructor for the Ohio Judicial College. He is an adjunct professor for The University of Toledo College of Law's Prosecutor Clinic. He also teaches an undergraduate course titled "Flawed Facts: American History in Film."
As a nationally recognized lecturer on judicial ethics, Judge Parish has made over 50 presentations in 20 states and Canada. He previously authored a twice monthly film column for the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune newspaper, and has been a contributing editor for The City Paper.
Judge Parish is a past president of the Ohio Association of Magistrates, the Wood County Historical Society, the Wood County Law Library, and Wood County Crime Stoppers. He is a member of the Ohio State, Lucas, Wood and Toledo Bar Associations.
Recently, in an opinion to which Judge Parish dissented, the Court ruled that Ohio’s concealed carry law is not a general law and that local ordnances banning licensees from public property can prevail.
From Judge Parish, in finding that the Court's conclusion ignores the clear intent of the legislature, wrote as follows:
- Given the legislative history, the majority's actions create a conflict
between the statute's provisions undermining both legislative intent and the actual
provisions of R.C. 2923.126(A). It will enable every city, town, village, township or
county within the state to render the statute void by merely enacting a farther-reaching
local ordinance. Further, in declaring that R.C. 2923.126 is not a general law, the majority opens Pandora's Box. If R.C. 2923.126 is not a general law then dozens if not hundreds of other state statutes are also not general laws, and local governments can change them at will. Thus, the majority's action will serve only to promote uncertainty in the law.
Indeed, in the days following the ruling, Columbus' anti-gun Mayor Coleman announced that he and City Councilman Mike Mentel would like to pass a law similar to Toledo's (the timing of the announcement was quite ironic, considering that just one day before a man was arrested for firing an "assault weapon" into a crowd, obviously with no concern for the local Columbus assault weapons (or Mentel) ban).
For those familiar with this Sixth District Court's asinine ruling, it will do the heart good to note that when it comes to his dissents becoming the law of the land when the Ohio Supreme Court hears appeals from the Sixth District, Judge Parish bats 1000.
City of Toledo v. Bruce Beatty reminds us that no matter how many pro-gun legislators who are elected, and no matter how many pro-gun bills they send to the governor, it can all be for naught without good pro-Constitution judges sitting on the bench. Please do everything you can in the next 60 days to make the name Judge Dennis M. Parish a household name among Northwest Ohio voters.
The Sixth District Court of Appeals is made up of Erie, Fulton, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams and Wood Counties.