FLASH: Cleveland appellate court ignores previous Supreme Court decision, rules Ohio preemption law unconstitutional
The 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals has sided with Cleveland in the city's fight to enforce its illegal local gun control ordinances.
A three judge panel has declared that Ohio R.C 9.68 - which became law in 2007 with passage of HB347 to preempt local gun control and ensure statewide uniformity of gun laws - is unconstitutional.
Judges Colleen Conway-Cooney, Ann Dyke (both Democrats facing re-election in 2010), and Melody Stewart (a Democrat facing re-election in 2012) reversed a lower court's decision to uphold the law.
Dyke was elected to the appellate court in 1987, after serving 7 years as a common pleas judge in Cuyahoga County. Conway-Cooney was elected in 2000, after serving 9 years as a Cleveland Municipal Judge and 8 years as a Cuyahoga County prosecutor. Stewart was elected in 2006 after serving as assistant Law Director to Cleveland.
We are certain gun owners across the state are resting comfortably, knowing that they got a fair, unbiased hearing from these three, who all owe their livelihoods and careers to the Cleveland political machine.
Ironically, in a footnote to their ruling that the law is unconstitional, the appellate court admitted the state Supreme Court has already, by implication, ruled that the law is constitutional.
Indeed, in Ohioans For Concealed Carry, Inc. v. Clyde, the Supreme Court upheld R.C. 9.68 as it relates to handguns, albeit in dicta, when it stated, "[s]imply put, the General Assembly, by enacting R.C. 9.68(A), gave persons in Ohio the right to carry a handgun unless federal or state law prohibits them from doing so. A municipal ordinance cannot infringe on that broad statutory right."
As such, Thursday's ruling from the 8th District can be paraphrased as having said this:
"The law is clear and the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled statewide preemption to be constitutional. But the facts will not get in the way of our legislating from the bench to discriminate against guns and the people who own them. You need look no further than the breadth of our arrogance to see we are right, if for no other reason than because we say so."
Upon receipt of a call from the Cleveland Plain Dealer in preparation for its coverage of the ruling, Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson said simply:
"The Supreme Court will reverse whatever reasoning they dreamed up."