For now, DeWine backs off confrontation with lawmakers over health order limits

On the heels of a move by state lawmakers to take more control of health emergencies, Gov. Mike DeWine stepped back from launching a legal challenge that could have sent their dispute to the Ohio Supreme Court.

DeWine appears to be opting for a legislative remedy rather than a legal one.

During his Thursday briefing on the coronavirus, DeWine said before lawmakers voted to override his veto of SB 22, which limits his health orders and orders from county health agencies, he had received telephone calls from several legislators who would vote to override but agreed with him that there are serious problems with the law. “

So let’s hope the General Assembly will, understanding that, will take the appropriate action. I believe as we move on it is time for us to come together. We all want to see this virus gone,” DeWine said.

The Governor had earlier called the bill unconstitutional.

County health agencies termed it dangerous because it limited their legal authority to take action in an emergency.

When asked if he will take it to the Supreme Court, DeWine said “I don’t know at this point. My opinion on the constitutionality of it has not changed. Whether we file something or somebody else does, I don’t know at this point.”

It opened the door to some other group that might want to launch a legal fight with lawmakers in an effort to have SB 22 tossed out. If DeWine was anxious to battle it out with lawmakers at any point in the past, he apparently has now stepped back and is using a more philosophical tone.

He had previously seen his gun reform measures dismissed and more recently, a distracted driving initiative sidetracked by the House and Senate.

“You get setbacks and you don’t get everything you want but I’m happy where we are. We have more work to do and we’re going to get it done,” DeWine said.

If SB 22 remains unchallenged in court, it will take effect this summer.