COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Reps. Michael Stinziano and Mike Curtin will soon introduce a bill in the Ohio House of Representatives that will grant qualified citizens and groups the standing in court to challenge potentially unconstitutional laws that affect the public interest.
The introduction of the bill follows Tuesday’s Ohio Supreme Court ruling that denied several groups standing due to a lack of personal stake in the pursued court case.
“Ohioans should have the right to know when their state is acting unconstitutionally. This legislation will protect the public interest and ensure that qualified citizens and groups have access to the courts,” said Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat.
"Every Ohioan has a direct, personal stake in how public funds -- their funds -- are allocated and accounted for," said Curtin. “And all Ohioans have a direct, personal stake in ensuring that the officials they elect abide by the dictates of the Ohio Constitution.”
The proposed legislation follows similar steps that have been made in New Mexico, Utah and Alaska, which have broadened court access in cases that are in the public interest.
“We must provide a recourse for people or groups who are directly affected by unconstitutional statutes, and this legislation will provide it,” Stinziano said.
Stinziano and Curtin plan to introduce the bill in the coming days. Once introduced, the bill will be assigned to a House committee for further review.