Judge Eugene Lucci has some unpleasant things to say about how Ohio exercised or assumed powers to which he claims it is not entitled after 35 gyms took the state to court over threats of punishment for reopening against the will of the state.
Lucci concluded that Ohio’s lockdown does not meet the legal requirements for “isolation,” which is defined as “the separation of an infected individual from others during the period of disease communicability,” or a “quarantine,” ….” A quarantine is supposed to last only as long as “the usual incubation period of the disease”—two to 14 days, in the case of COVID-19.
… “The director has quarantined the entire people of the state of Ohio, for much more than 14 days. The director has no statutory authority to close all businesses, including the plaintiffs’ gyms, which she deems non-essential for a period of two months. She has acted in an impermissibly arbitrary, unreasonable, and oppressive manner and without any procedural safeguards.”
Defendants are enjoined from imposing penalties for any noncompliance with stated safety requirements as part of the ruling because there is no provision in law for them to do that.
Executive Director Maurice Thompson of the 1851 Center for Constitution law, which represented the Gyms, summed it up nicely in this quote from Channel 19 in Cleveland.
“Constitutions are written to prevent governments from arbitrarily interfering in citizens’ lives and businesses. On that front, the call to action is clear. The Governor and health director may no longer impose their own closures and regulations and write their own criminal penalties to enforce those regulations and closures,”
I think we have one of those Constitution-Thingys around here someplace. Has anyone seen it?
Don’t bother asking the governor or the legislature where it is, and I’m not sure the courts are all that interested in its whereabouts either. An interesting problem to have in a state with the motto, Live Free or Die.