News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.


Levin Furniture

Akron Children's Hospital

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime

Ohio Supreme Court cases include a lot of "wait 'til next year'
But the state high court did clear the way for Medicaid expansion to hundreds of thousands of Ohioans

Karen Kasler
Low-profile, but important cases, made up the Ohio Supreme Court caseload this year.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

There weren’t a lot of attention-getting cases before the Ohio Supreme Court in 2013. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, the ones that did make news were big.

LISTEN: The really big cases before the Ohio Supreme Court

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:19)

The year started out with a case that seemed to have major implications on freedom of speech and religion in schools. Eighth-grade science teacher John Freshwater was fired in 2008 for keeping a Bible on his desk and a poster featuring a Biblical verse on the wall after he was ordered to remove them from his classroom.

Faith or insubordination?
David Smith argued for the Mt. Vernon City Schools and told the Ohio Supreme Court in February that Freshwater’s actions – or inaction – was insubordination. 
“The principal had directed Mr. Freshwater to remove objects and he didn’t.” 

But Freshwater’s lawyer Rita Dunaway had argued that her client was teaching supporting and opposing views on evolution, and that’s what got him fired. 

“Here you have an ad hoc, non-policy based termination that is censorship and manifests religious hostility.”

The justices ruled the school district did infringe on Freshwater’s First Amendment rights by ordering him to remove his personal Bible, but said he was insubordinate for keeping the poster and other items. But the court did not rule on whether Freshwater was unconstitutionally teaching his religious beliefs, which dissenting Justice Paul Pfeifer said disappointed him.

Medicaid expansion gets the high court's blessing
When fellow Republicans in the Statehouse balked at expanding Medicaid, Gov. John Kasich turned to the state Controlling Board -- a panel of six lawmakers and his budget advisor. It OK'd the expansion, and conservative Republicans took that decision to court. It claimed the Controlling Board had overstepped its authority. But the supreme Court sided with the governor, and the expansion is about to begin.

The company car and child support

A few months later, the justices ruled on another big case – saying that employer-provided benefits such as a car, insurance, cell phone or even Ohio State football tickets should be included in calculating child support payments. Jeffrey Morrow of Medina had wanted to reduce his child support payments when his income dropped in 2009. But Tom Morris, representing Morrow’s ex-wife, told the court in arguments in June that benefits such as an employer provided car should count. 
“If you are given one to use at your discretion, then it absolutely should count because those are dollars that you do not have to spend on your own vehicle.”

Still coming up
In the coming months, the court is expected to rule on whether the state’s child enticement law is too broad, whether the city of Cleveland had the right to arrest peaceful protestors in who didn’t have a permit to congregate on Public Square.

And there is likely to be a ruling on arguably one of the biggest cases of the year – whether Progress Ohio, the conservative Ohio Roundtable and two Democratic state lawmakers have standing to sue regarding JobsOhio.

Both sides got the question:  “Who has standing to sue the state in a case like this?” Maurice Thompson of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, a conservative group, argued for Progress Ohio, and said potentially anyone in the state does. 
“It’s imperative in certain cases, including this one, that any Ohioans in their capacity as a citizen or a taxpayer have the standing to enforce the Constitution.”

But state deputy solicitor Steven Carney said Progress Ohio’s argument is dangerous and goes against years of established case law.

“They want you to throw away all that precedent, let everybody sue, as long as it’s a constitutional challenge. That’s their only limits.”

If the court sides with Progress Ohio, that could open the door for a final ruling on whether JobsOhio was a constitutionally-created entity.

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Kasich campaign evokes dark images of a Trump presidency

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University