We write as local attorneys to offer our opinions on Issue 2 and to respond to the Oct. 24 column on the Commentary page headlined “Don’t believe ’em. Vote for Issue 2.”
The Ohio State Bar Association and the Akron Bar Association oppose Issue 2 solely because the amendment would cause the judiciary to become entwined in political affairs — an outcome that should be avoided if at all possible. If passed, the amendment would require a group of appellate judges to select a pool of 42 Ohioans from which a 12-member citizen commission responsible for redrawing legislative and congressional district maps would be drawn.
This function makes these judges vulnerable to political influence and would undermine the public’s trust and confidence in a fair, impartial and independent judiciary — a sacred and fundamental principle of our constitutional democracy.
Approval of Issue 2 also would inappropriately involve the Ohio Supreme Court. Should the 12-member commission be unable to agree on a redistricting proposal, our highest court would be responsible for selecting one of the plans the commission has debated. And if the plan is later challenged as unconstitutional or otherwise, the challenge would be heard by the same Supreme Court that selected the proposal being challenged. The court’s job is not to pick the plan, but to interpret the law and rule on its constitutionality.
Issue 2 is a proposed constitutional amendment, and constitutional amendments are difficult to change. They can be changed only by another constitutional amendment. This requires a great deal of time and money and could take years to accomplish. That’s why it is so important to get the language of a constitutional amendment correct at the outset.
Many agree that the current redistricting process is in need of reform. So do we. But there is a better way than Issue 2. The state bar association believes that the appropriate venue is the Constitutional Modernization Commission. This commission is comprised of bipartisan elected officials and members of the public. Its sole purpose is to review our current state constitution and make recommendations for change. We join the state bar in urging the commission to make redistricting reform a priority when it convenes early next year.
The judiciary was never intended to be involved in a political process like redistricting.
The judiciary is intended to be fair, impartial and independent. A judge is to be umpire; not player. Let’s keep it that way.
Issue 2 is the wrong way to improve Ohio’s redistricting process.
It should be defeated so Ohio has the time to get it right. Vote “no” on Issue 2, and protect justice.
To learn more, please visit www.protectjusticeohio.com.
Member, board of governors
Ohio State Bar Association
Ohio State Bar Association
Sutton will ?protect Medicare
As a senior on Medicare, my vote goes to Betty Sutton. I recently saw the debate between Sutton and Jim Renacci, during which Renacci offered the typical Republican lies about Medicare.
He said the Democrats have changed Medicare forever. They haven’t.
They’ve actually extended the solvency of Medicare for another decade. Renacci wants to turn Medicare into a voucher system, which would cost seniors more and reduce their coverage.
Renacci also rolled out the tired line that Democrats have cut $700 billion from Medicare.
This prompted the moderator to ask Renacci to explain because “fact-checkers would disagree.” As fact-checkers point out, that $700 billion comes from reducing payments to insurance companies.
One area Renacci was quiet on was prescription drug prices, most likely because Renacci voted to reopen the doughnut hole, increasing prescription drug costs for seniors.
Sutton spoke reassuringly about controlling prescription drug costs. She has ideas such as negotiating with drug companies for lower prices, like the VA does, with much success.
At the debate it was clear that Sutton cared about saving Medicare, while Renacci cared only about dodging his own record.
President, United Retirees of America
Convenient memories ?of Bill Clinton
Why is it that every whining liberal seems to have a very convenient memory?
They mention Bill Clinton. How can they forget the very reason his term was a success (if you can call it that) was that he had a Republican Congress from 1995 through 2000, when George Bush took over.
While Clinton was dillydallying around with the lady in the blue dress, Republicans were ensuring the peace, prosperity and general welfare of our great country.
How do liberals think we ended up with a wonderful economy?
Not because of Clinton or those other liberal losers in Congress but because of the strength of the conservative party, which will always come through in times of need.
The Romney/Ryan ticket is the answer. We need them now, more than ever.
Thomas G. Vignos
For the future ?of Akron
A vote for Akron Public Schools Issue 61 is a vote for not only our kids, but our community and our future. Our school leadership has done an excellent job of managing its bottom line, and the state of Ohio has recognized the efforts.
With all the budget cuts the district has done, the schools are still reporting continuous improvement in the education they are providing students, our community leaders of the future.
Businesses need educated young adults who will find their interests and careers in Akron, and will keep our city growing and robust.
Our school leaders are on the lookout for ideas and partnerships that benefit the students and the community as a whole, along with making the district funds more effective.
Voting for Issue 61 is a smart investment in our community.
John and Julie Ann Sweet Buntin