Laws Should be Made by the Legislature

Repost from The Times-Gazette; Commentary by John Judkins, Esq.

On July 22, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a press conference announcing that he was ordering every person in Ohio to wear a mask in public. This announcement came with several broad exceptions, but generally speaking, the governor said he was ordering most Ohioans to wear a mask whenever they were outside their home.

The governor stated that his order was to take effect at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 23.

By 6 p.m. on the 23rd Governor DeWine had made no such order. Around that time, however, the Ohio Department of Health’s website was updated with an order from Interim Director Lance D. Himes which demanded that most individuals in the state of Ohio wear face coverings at all times outside their home.

So why did the governor say he was ordering Ohioans to wear masks, but the order actually come from director of the Health Department? Because the governor can’t legally order you to do anything. However, there are a few state statutes that say the director of the health department is allowed to order you to do things in certain times of emergency.

Ohio Revised Code Section 3701.13 outlines some of the powers of the health department including the ability to have, “…ultimate authority in matters of quarantine and isolation, which it may declare and enforce …” and to “make special or standing orders … for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases…”ORC § 3701.352 says, in part, that, “No person shall violate … any order the director or department of health issues … to prevent a threat to the public caused by a pandemic.”

ORC § 3701.99 says in part that you can be found guilty of a second degree misdemeanor if you violate an order of the health department issued to prevent a threat of pandemic. Second degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $750.

In short, these laws mean that you could be charged with a crime and subsequently go to jail if you do not wear a mask in public. However, there is a reasonable argument that these laws may also violate the Ohio Constitution.

The powers of Ohio’s government have been separated between three branches by the Ohio Constitution: the legislative, executive and judicial. The constitution is the supreme governing law of our state, and no statute can supersede the constitution. The United States Supreme Court has stated that separation of the government’s power exists, “precisely so that we may resist the temptation to concentrate power in one location as an expedient solution to the crises of the day.”

The laws I referenced above were passed by the Ohio General Assembly, but they seem to confer lawmaking power to the Ohio Department of Health, which is a part of the executive branch. The legislature has essentially said that during a time of pandemic the health department may issue orders that carry criminal consequences. In other words, the legislature essentially gave the executive branch the ability to make new criminal laws.

The Ohio Supreme Court has said that, “the lawmaking prerogative is a sovereign power conferred by the people upon the legislative branch of the government,” and therefore “cannot be delegated to … [another] branch of government.” The legislature is not supposed to be able to delegate its authority to make law to the executive branch. In another case, the Ohio Supreme Court stated that, “Administrative regulations cannot dictate public policy, but rather can only dictate policy already established by the General Assembly.” Here it seems that the department of health dictated the policy.

But also, maybe not. It’s actually really common to have both state and federal laws that criminalize regulations issued by the executive branch. Sometimes, the executive agency oversteps its authority, and a court challenge by a citizen strikes down an unconstitutional regulation.

Most of the time, the regulations of the executive branch agencies are enforced by courts. For instance, it is a federal crime to export compost outside the State of New York. This is not because Congress said so. This is because Congress passed a law criminalizing the violation of regulations passed by the department of agriculture concerning the transportation of plant products.

The executive branch issued a rule prohibiting transporting compost outside of New York, and if you violate that rule then you commit a crime.
Therefore, the complete delegation of lawmaking authority to the Ohio Health Department which allows them to make up brand new crimes during times of pandemic might be unconstitutional, but it also might not be. Ultimately, that is a question for the third branch of government, the judicial branch, to decide.

Unfortunately, the only way for a court to decide this question would be for someone to not wear a mask, be charged with a crime, and argue to a court of law that the crime they are charged with is unconstitutional. Arguing the constitutionality of a law is time consuming, has a low success rate, and is very very expensive.

On top of all that, wearing a mask in public is really just a kind thing to do.

To paraphrase the Dread Pirate Roberts, I think everyone should be wearing masks in the future. I just don’t think the governor or the health department should have the authority to make new laws that could send people to jail for not wearing them.

Laws should be made by the legislature.

John Judkins is a Greenfield attorney

O-H?

Was last week’s announcement from the Big Ten Conference the first domino to tumble in an unthinkable chain reaction?

Is college football in jeopardy of being a casualty in the coronavirus pandemic?

Conference officials sent a jolt of uncertainty when they announced that Big Ten football teams will only play those schools within the conference.

This proclamation sent shock waves across the Buckeye State as thousands of football fans sit and wait – and ponder a season without the Scarlet and Gray.

The PAC-12 made the same decision, and many conferences have already put the kibosh on the 2020 football season. Those include the Ivy League, the Patriot League, the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference, and now the Colonial Athletic Association.

But the seismic reaction on my end did not come from that revelation from the Big Ten, but instead after what Commissioner Kevin Warren said.

He told the Big Ten Network, “We may not have sports in the fall.”

Wow.

Warren said the conference wanted to take the next “logical” step and rely on medical experts to make sure students and athletes are healthy, both emotionally and physically, before athletics are played.

Right off the bat, the first three games against Bowling Green, Oregon and Buffalo are gone – poof.

This means there will be no trip to play the Ducks in Oregon, the defending Pac-12 Champions, who are scheduled to come to Ohio in 2021.

And there are financial consequences too.

Bowling Green and Buffalo are also owed money as part of a non-conference agreement to a total of $3 million, according to information from the Columbus Dispatch.

This is not the way Warren wanted to enter his first year as commissioner.

And this was not the news fans wanted to hear either.

They have already surrendered spring and summer sports.

March Madness fouled out because of the pandemic. Major League Baseball is on deck later this month to play a shortened season, but there are two outs in the ninth inning.

Major events like the Kentucky Derby and the Indianapolis 500 are still not a guarantee to cross the finish line even after they have been pushed back.

We are living in a real-life Twilight Zone.

Now the nightmare might impact the biggest and most popular team in Ohio and one of the most-followed squads in sports.

Buckeye football is the lifeblood of Columbus.

What will happen to the city if the pigskin is quarantined too?

Businesses such as hotels, restaurants, vendors, and those who work the games will be impacted.

Now fans must examine the possibility that there might not be any football played in the Horseshoe, or in any other stadium this fall.

This is a real scenario.

OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith said that he was concerned for the status of the season.

“I am really concerned, that is the question of the day. I was cautiously optimistic. I’m not even there now,” he said in a press teleconference.

I believe Big Ten and Ohio State officials are trying to soften the blow leading up to a future announcement that will be a gut-punch coming to fans and the city.

The health of the public should be at the center of every decision, and it appears that is the protocol.

And legendary football coach Lou Holtz told Fox News earlier this week that “I don’t believe there will be football this year.”

We can’t hide forever.

Life must get back to normal, and college football is perhaps the best way to do that.

Maybe not this year, it might appear.

Normal is tailgating before kick-off.

Normal is the Skull Session before the team makes its way to the ‘Shoe’ through a gauntlet of supporters.

Normal is the band marching out to a thunderous crowd and writing Script Ohio.

Normal is hearing the fans chant O-H-I-O at least 564 times a game.

Normal is a Buckeye win.

And normal is Ohio State in contention for another National Championship.

We need normal.

Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.

Coronavirus Fear-Monger Crowd Using Liberal Trolls to Incite Panic

AmplifyOhio is Hiring Microinfluencers to Build Online Support

Over the past few weeks, social media watchers have noticed a new influx of pro-mask, pro-lockdown social media posts, comments, and trolls. One enterprising web sleuth has alleged that this influx is through the efforts of a group that has branded itself AmplifyOhio.

According to their website, they are “partnering with the State of Ohio to amplify practices that will help us more safely move about in our communities.” They are seeking to do this by hiring influencers to help spread their message online on Twitter, Facebook, and other similar outlets.

According to the Ohio Secretary of State website, there is no business or organization registered to operate in Ohio under the name AmplifyOhio or anything remotely close to it. A search of a number of other states corporate records failed to find any registrations either. A WHOIS internet lookup search shows the web address was registered through GODADDY on April 20, 2020 using their private registration service.

Ohio Statehouse News has reached out to the Governor’s office and requested information on these efforts. However, the Governor’s spokesperson has failed to respond to repeated requests.

We did find one additional clue, however. According to Exhibit 1 of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Partners in Health (PIH) and the State of Ohio, PIH is supposed to provide “support for social media and other strategic communications to the general public.” Please see the picture below:

Exhibit 1

 

PIH is a far-left organization that spouts Marxism and liberation theology. As we reported here in May, they have numerous ties to the Clinton Family, Bill Gates, and George Soros. Apparently their work in Ohio now includes hiring an army of liberal trolls to push mask mandates and more lockdowns on social media.

AmplifyOhio Instagram site is followed by several Ohio departments and agencies.

Ohio’s Coronavirus “Surge” is Fake News and We Can Prove it

DeWine Administration Still Hiding Key Data from Public

Throughout the COVID19 pandemic, the DeWine administration in Ohio has continued to make it difficult to easily understand the relevant data. In fact, they have continually hidden or not even reported the total tests taken by Ohioans. This appears to be part of the plan to needlessly frighten Ohioans and shut down our economy. Together, with his willing allies in the liberal media, they have employed a number of classic misdirection techniques in order to accomplish their goals. We’ll break down those methods for you below.

The Surge in New Cases Fallacy

A July 8, 2020 Columbus Dispatch headline helps explain how this fallacy works. It screams, “Ohio’s spike continues with fourth-highest number of daily cases!”

But what the Columbus Dispatch and the DeWine administration fails to report is that this increase in cases simply reflects the fact that Ohio has significantly ramped up its daily testing numbers. For example, on July 2, 2020 Ohio reported a whopping 1,265 new cases. But what they didn’t tell us is that on July 2, 2020 Ohio also performed a whopping 20,613 COVID19 tests, one of their highest totals to date. In fact, it took until June 30, 2020 before Ohio was able to even perform 20,000 tests per day! You can see part of this information for yourself buried in the ODH website here..

A surge in new reported cases is only happening because Ohio has quadrupled its daily tests over the past several months. We aren’t seeing an increase in the actual percentage of positive tests. To say that these new cases are the result of a surge, is simply fake news.

The Surge in the Positive Rate Fallacy

Under this fallacy, the DeWine administration and their liberal media allies are arguing that the percentage of positive cases are going up. An article first written and posted on July 6, 2020 helps explain how this works. According to the Columbus Dispatch, “the infection rate actually is going up, to more than 6% during the recent spike in coronavirus cases.”

This is also fake news. The most recent data buried in Ohio’s COVID19 website shows a positive daily test rate percentage of 5% as of July 6, 2020. The highest daily percentage positive rate was 37% reported on April 19, 2020. We also saw a positive percentage spike of 18% on April 1, 2020. The lowest daily percentage positive rate was 3% reported on June 8, 2020.

By May 7, 2020 the once higher positive percentage rate had dropped to 9% and it has hovered in the range of 4 to 6% throughout most of May, June, and July. Overall, as of July 8, 2020 Ohio has completed a whopping 896,485 tests and found 58,904 positive cases. That is an overall total positive rate of 6.5% according to data from the The COVID Tracking Project.

The Multiple Positive Counting Fallacy

According to Investigative Journalist Jack Windsor, people that test positive multiple times count as separate, individual cases. In other words, if I test positive in four different tests on four different days, that counts as four cases, not just as one person that’s tested positive. How many sick people in Ohio are testing positive again and again for COVID19? We don’t know and the DeWine administration isn’t telling.

The DeWine administration and its liberal allies are using these classic tricks of cherry picking and selectively reporting data, or they are outright hiding data from the public. Don’t be fooled. It’s classic fake news.

Ohio Democratic Party takes $337,867 in Relief Funds from Taxpayers Impacted by COVID-19

Reported well over $1 million in funds raised

The Ohio Democratic Party received $337,867 in taxpayer Payroll Protection Program dollars while having significant financial resources on hand.

Andrew Tobias, a reporter for Cleveland.Com broke the story.

“The Ohio Democratic Party is among the tens of thousands of organizations in Ohio that received a loan through the federal Payroll Protection Program, according to a list the U.S Small Business Administration released on Monday.

The Ohio Democratic Party’s state candidate fund reported receiving a loan on May 6 worth $333,867, according to state campaign finance records. SBA records do not indicate how many jobs the Ohio Democratic Party retained through the loan, which converts to a grant for organizations that use the funds to keep their employees.”

The Paycheck Protection Program and loan forgiveness are intended to provide economic relief to small businesses nationwide adversely impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Ohio Democratic Party shows in their March Pre-Primary 2020 filing that they had received $530,724 in campaign contributions. March is when Governor DeWine initially closed most businesses in the state. Not the Ohio Democratic Party.

The March 2020 Ohio Democratic Party State Candidate Fund Pre-Primary filing reveals that they raised $137,277.00 and had a balance of $573,217.37 on hand.

The Ohio Democratic Party Post-Primary report reveals they raised $739,405.20.

Of note, the Ohio Democratic Party received a whopping $100,000 from the Ohio Education Association. This was their largest contribution and it came from teachers who are payed with taxpayer dollars.

The Small Business Administration contribution is listed as Post-Primary 2020 for the total of $333,867.

The total sum Ohio Democratic Party campaign funds raised from Pre-Primary and Post Primary 2020 is $1,407,406.

Should hardworking Americans be funding the already lucrative Ohio Democratic Party while their businesses are struggling to survive or face imminent closure? This after Ohio Democrats U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Congressman Tim Ryan delayed votes for these critical relief funds until they were certain to include a pay increase for themselves in the CARES relief package.

The Ohio Democratic Party’s website says,

It appears the political party insiders come first before the people of Ohio.

The “Dawn’s Early Light”

By Del Duduit

Honest Americans have a deep love in their heart for the Flag and what it represents.
Historical landmarks have been the target of vandalism and destruction over the past few weeks.
But I want to draw attention to one that is important to me, and hopefully millions of Americans throughout the nation.
It’s one of my favorite stories in history and my prayer is that it will always remain a focal point of our heritage.
I want to go back re-visit how Francis Scott Key came to write the National Anthem – you know – the beautiful and inspired poem many athletes will not honor.
Let me set the stage.
At the time in 1814, Key was a 35-year-old lawyer and received permission to board a British ship in the Chesapeake Bay during the ongoing War of 1812. He hoped to convince the British to release a friend who had been arrested. During the visit, he and his friend learned of the impending attack the British were going to launch on Fort McHenry and the Americans in Baltimore Harbor.
They were allowed to go back to their own ship; however, they were heavily guarded so they would not warn the Americans of the pending attack, according to Smithsonianmag.com.
It was a rainy night on September 13, 1814, and Key watched in horror from his vessel as the British pounded Fort McHenry with rockets and shells. This went on for more than 24 hours. Bomb after bomb, rocket after rocket barraged the fort. The Battle of Baltimore was enraged and came a short time after the British army attacked Washington D.C. and burned the Capitol and The White House.
By all accounts and from what Key witnessed, Fort McHenry had fallen. The Americans had been defeated. All hope was lost. The Brits were going to win. The night sky, as he later wrote, became red with flares and shells. He described the scene as “fire and brimstone.”
But then came the morning. Then came “dawn’s early light.”
What he saw in the distance was a miracle. I can only imagine he must have done a double-take. Then a grin had to come over his face. It wasn’t the Union Jack flag he saw flying. It was the tattered Red, White and Blue American Flag fluttering amidst the clearing smoke and the rising sun.
America had not surrendered or lost, but somehow, had won the battle. Filled with inspiration, Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner – which was originally called Defense of Fort McHenry. Just try to put yourself in his shoes and REALLY read his incredible and moving account of the aftermath of the battle.
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Key clearly gave credit to God as he should. Without the Lord’s mercy and guidance, we too will fall. The forces of evil pound Christians daily with shells and flares, hoping to destroy and claim our fort. The same forces beat Christ, hung Him on a cross and buried His body in a borrowed tomb. For three days, all hope was lost.
But then came the morning. Then came “dawn’s early light.”
Jesus rose from the tomb and raised His own flag in victory. We celebrate our independence as a nation this week, and our freedom from sin every day.
For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. (DEUTERONOMY 20: 4 KJV)
Not everyone will stand up for the Lord either. This is sad, but it won’t deter me. I will continue to honor the Savior and our American Flag too.
God bless the U.S.A. and Happy 4th of July!

Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.

“Irreparable Harms”: How the Flynn Case Became a Dangerous Game of Legal Improvisation

Author: Jonathan Turley

Below is my column in USA Today on the D.C. Circuit ordering Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. After this column ran, new evidence emerged that further undermined the FBI and the targeting of Flynn, as discussed in  another recent column. Notes from fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok show that former FBI Director James Comey told President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that Flynn’s call to the Russian diplomat “appear legit.” Nevertheless, Biden (who denied having anything to do with the case) is noted as raising the idea of a charge under the facially unconstitutional Logan Act, a law that has never been used successfully to charge a single person since the beginning of this Republic. Comey of course was the one who later bragged that he “probably wouldn’t have … gotten away with it”  in other administrations, but he sent “a couple guys over” to question Flynn, who was settling into his new office as national security adviser. We now know that, when Comey broke protocols and sent the agents, he thought the calls were legitimate and that agents wanted to dismiss the investigation in December for lack of evidence. They were prevented from doing so as Strzok, Biden, and others discussed other crimes, any crime, to nail Flynn just before the start of the Trump Administration.

If all of that seems “illegitimate” and “irregular,” it pales in comparison to how two judges on the D.C. panel reviewed the handling of the Flynn case by Judge Emmet Sullivan. It seems that everyone from the President to the Vice President to the FBI Director to ultimately the federal judge have engaged in a dangerous form of improvisational law when it came to Michael Flynn. That will now hopefully end though many questions still remain.
It is possible for Judge Sullivan to appeal, though the upcoming hearing on Flynn has been removed from the docket.

Here is the column:

The dismissal of the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn sent shock waves across Washington, including Congress which was hours away from a hearing addressing the case. Any appellate decision taking unprecedented measures to stop “irreparable harms” and “irregular” conduct is newsworthy. However, those admonishments were not describing Flynn’s conduct but that of his trial judge, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. The D.C. Circuit panel took the exceptionally rare step of ordering Sullivan to stop further proceedings and dismiss the case to avoid further damage caused by his prior orders.

The case should have been dismissed

One month ago, I wrote a column criticizing the handling of the Flynn case by Judge Sullivan after the government moved to dismiss its own prosecution.
The law in this case is clear and the case should have been dismissed. Instead, Sullivan took the extraordinary action of appointing a retired judge, John Gleeson, to argue positions that neither of the actual parties supported. Gleeson not only had publicly denounced the administration over its handling of the case but, as a judge, was reversed for “irregular” conduct in usurping the authority of prosecutors. In addition, Sullivan suggested that he might charge Flynn with perjury for alleging that he was wrongly charged despite the support of the Justice Department in finding abuses in his case.
Criticizing Sullivan, who I have appeared before for years as counsel and previously complimented for his demeanor, was not popular. Legal analysts in The Washington Post, CNN and other outlets insisted that his actions were entirely appropriate and justified. Yet, another letter from “former prosecutors” was given unquestioning media coverage to show that Sullivan should deny the motion in the case.

In an opinion piece, UCLA Law Professor and former U.S. Attorney under Bill Clinton, Harry Litman even explained how Sulllivan could “make trouble” for the Trump administration in these hearings. Litman insisted that I was “a very lonely voice in the wilderness” of academia in contesting the use of an outside lawyer to make arguments in a criminal trial case that neither the defense nor the prosecution supported.
The wilderness now appears to include at least two other voices from the D.C. Circuit. The panel specifically denounced the “irregular” use of Gleeson and his hyperbolic arguments in the case. Gleeson suggested that the court should actually send Flynn to jail despite prosecutors raising evidence of misconduct and abuse as the basis for dismissal. He also argued that, rather than give Flynn a trial on a new charge from Sullivan of perjury, Flynn should just be sentenced in light of such perjury as part of his prior non-perjury charge.
Even for those of us who believed that Sullivan was operating well outside of the navigational beacons for a court in such case, the decision was breathtaking. Most of us expected that the appellate court would remand the case to allow Sullivan a face-saving hearing with an inevitable order to dismiss. The panel, however, clearly had little trust in the plans for this hearing or any true judicial purpose. Indeed, it may have been convinced that the primary purpose was indeed to “make trouble” for the administration.
As some of us wrote previously, the appellate court was particularly alarmed by the implications of Sullivan’s orders, including noting that the “invitation to members of the general public to appear as amici…” The panel said that such an invitation by Sullivan “suggests anything but a circumscribed review.” Moreover, it noted that the Justice Department had submitted troubling evidence of possible misconduct. And that “each of our three coequal branches should be encouraged to self-correct when it errs.”

Gleeson, wrong appointment

The greatest irony is that Sullivan’s unwise decision to appoint Gleeson to make the case was perhaps too successful. Gleeson ultimately proved not the case against Flynn but against Sullivan. In reviewing Gleeson’s brief, the panel declared “we need not guess if this irregular and searching scrutiny will continue; it already has.” The panel noted that Sullivan’s appointed counsel “relied on news stories, tweets, and other facts outside the record to contrast the government’s grounds for dismissal here with its rationales for prosecution in other cases.”

The panel was also aware of past concerns raised in the case, including the rather bizarre first sentencing hearing held in December 2018. In that hearing, Sullivan suggested that Flynn might be guilty of treason in a case involving comparatively minor charges of false statements to federal investigators. Sullivan dramatically used the flag in the courtroom as a prop and accused Flynn of being “an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security adviser to the president of the United States. Arguably, that undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out.” (He later apologized for his comments.)
The irony, however, is that Sullivan proved the best thing that could have happened to Flynn. After that unnerving exchange, Sullivan asked if Flynn still wanted him to sentence him or wait. He indicated that he might go substantially beyond what Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team had demanded. Flynn wisely decided to wait. The resulting delay allowed the damaging evidence from his case to be review and released. Had Sullivan simply sentenced Flynn last December, it would have been much more difficult for Flynn to have raised these issues.
Sullivan then handed down his novel orders including appointing his own counsel to argue for prosecution against the actual prosecutors.

This record proved too much for the appellate court. Rather than order Sullivan off the case, it decided to order Sullivan to dismiss the case. Short of an order of actual recusal of a judge, a mandamus order is the most stinging indictment of the handling of a case that can come from an appellate court.
The ruling in this case is unlikely to force any real circumspection by legal analysts or the media in the prior coverage. Nuanced legal questions quickly evaporate in this age of rage. Conflicting case law is dismissed in favor of the clarity demanded by echo journalism. The law however brings its own clarity and the message of this opinion could not be clearer. Sullivan’s actions in the case did not spell “trouble” for the Trump administration, but rather, they spelled trouble for the administration of justice in our court system.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley

DeWine is Delinquent When it Comes to Schools Reopening

Every year right before Independence Day stores begin to fill up their shelves with backpacks and an array of school supplies. It is a time-honored tradition.

But this year Ohio parents remain in limbo regarding their children’s education opportunities this fall. To date, Governor DeWine has not publicly stated whether public schools will reopen this fall and if so what the parameters for the opening will include. Will schools be open part of the week and home schooled the other part, or just fulltime home schooling, no one knows.

This lack of guidance is adding to the stress on families. Those impacted especially hard are parents who work. They either need to find someone to take care of their child during the work day or leave their job. If they continue to work from home due to COVID-19 they have the added challenge of home schooling their public-school student and juggling their job at the same time.

For parents who take on the additional financial burden of sending their child to parochial, religious, or private schools the issue is even more cumbersome.

One family whose six children attend Catholic school has already made the “heartbreaking” decision they will not spend the money to send their children to parochial school next year.

“The Governor could shutter the school again at any time making the financial risk of paying for a religious education for our children too great.” The parent continued, “Many of the families from our school are also facing this tough decision.”

They are considering joining a home-schooling network for their children.

The fiscal impact on Catholic, and other private schools could easily result in permanent closures.

For many parents the burden of online education either public or private is too great. First there is the cost of securing computers for all or most the children in the home. Not all communities have access to the internet. Parents have reported the online classroom appear to be unorganized and thrown together. They require parents to be hands on throughout the day to ensure their child is learning. Parents have to snap photo’s or fax in copies of their children homework each day. The onus for learning is on the parent not the teacher or the online program. One parent was stunned when they realized they couldn’t help their child with the new common core math.

“I went to help my daughter with math only to realize they don’t teach children to carry the tens any longer. It’s all about boxes and approximation.”

Another parent is so stressed working a minimum wage job with odd hours that they simply have given up on trying to ensure their child is receiving any instruction at all.

“I wasn’t good in school and now with working odd hours, it is too much for me to try to teach my child too.”

With no children under the age of 20 dying from COVID-19 Governor DeWine must assess the high cost of children losing another year of education during his shut down or fully re-opening schools.

While DeWine ponders his options, stressed out parent are already scrambling to make theirs.

Ragged Old Flag Proud

Johnny Cash said it best. ‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that ragged old flag.

By Del Duduit

Everyone likes music and songs.
I have a variety of musicians I enjoy listening to.
A few months ago, Angie and I visited Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley and we got a taste of what it was like to live like a King.
Within the span of a few weeks, about three years ago, we watched Norah Jones perform in Washington D.C. and then Columbus, Ohio.
I like a mixture of classics, blues and jazz and some country.
But one of my all-time favorite writers and singers was Johnny Cash.
He was a rebel at times throughout his career, but you could never question his patriotic flare.
One of the songs he wrote applies today, especially since we just celebrated Flag Day.
There are things that happen in this nation that I don’t agree with but can try to understand circumstances.
People have the right to protest events or happenings I might not like but that is what makes the United States of America the greatest nation on the planet.
But I cannot understand why any person who lives here would burn the symbol of freedom – our flag.
Johnny Cash wrote a song in 1974 amidst the Watergate scandal to let everyone know how he felt about the red, white and blue.
This nation is not perfect, but it’s the greatest in the word, and we should appreciate its heritage.
The song became a mainstay in his shows, and he often preceded it with this quote:
“I thank God for all the freedom we have in this country, I cherish them and treasure them – even the right to burn the flag,” he said. “We also got the right to bear arms, and if you burn my flag — I’ll shoot you.”
Read the lyrics to this magnificent song; “Ragged Old Flag” and listen to Cash’s version of his song. Johnny Cash, Ragged Old Flag audio
I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench an old man was sitting there
I said, your old courthouse is kinda run down
He said, no, it’ll do for our little town
I said, your old flagpole has leaned a little bit
And that’s a ragged old flag you got hanging on it
He said, have a seat, and I sat down
Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town?
I said, I think it is
He said, I don’t like to brag
But we’re kinda proud of that ragged old flag
You see, we got a little hole in that flag there when
Washington took it across the Delaware
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing say can you see
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin’ at its seams
And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg
And the south wind blew hard on that ragged old flag
On Flanders field in World War One
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun
She turned blood red in World War Two
She hung limp and low a time or two
She was in Korea and Vietnam
She went where she was sent by Uncle Sam
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
And now they’ve about quit waving her back here at home
In her own good land here she’s been abused
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied, and refused
And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land
And she’s getting threadbare and wearing thin
But she’s in good shape for the shape she’s in
‘Cause she’s been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more
So we raise her up every morning
We take her down every night
We don’t let her touch the ground and we fold her up right
On second thought, I do like to brag
‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that ragged old flag.
Events over the past few weeks have brought about confusion and discouragement when I think about how men and women died so some could do what they are doing today with our flag.
This is a lack of respect for authority, life, and God. But it’s not too late to turn the corner.
I wish everyone would love our country the way I do and enjoy the freedom we have in the USA, while it lasts.

Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.

Ohio Elder Abuse Day Tarnished by Governor’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Crisis

Families are unable to be with their loved one at their hour of greatest need.

Today Ohio recognizes Elder Abuse Day with the slogan, “If you see something say something.”

Well we see something unthinkable happening in Ohio’s nursing homes, the unchecked spread of COVID-19 and the unspeakable abuse of separating vulnerable patients from their loved ones.

Ohio has over 2000 COVID-19 nursing home deaths which represents 71% of the total deaths in Ohio. Yet, the Governor, Lt. Governor and former Health Director focused their efforts on business and school closures. They prioritized testing in the Ohio prison system and not nursing homes. They went so far as to release prisoners from lockup to help decrease the spread of the disease.

There has been no such effort to increase testing in care facilities or relocate nursing home patients to help stop the spread of infection.

Perhaps even more incomprehensible is the Governor, Lt. Governor and former Health Directors decision to prohibit family members from having access to their loved ones in the nursing homes. The elderly are passing away without their loved ones, and families are unable to be with their loved one at their hour of greatest need.

More than three months into the coronavirus pandemic, around 70,000 Ohio nursing home residents remain in visitor isolation. Those in assisted living facilities or homes for people with disabilities can have only restricted outdoor visits. Dayton Daily News

Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted are promoting new pop-up testing sites around Ohio. The trouble is, individuals who are in nursing homes can’t travel to a pop-up site to secure testing.

Why the delay is addressing the source of Ohio’s COVID19 epidemic?

As we acknowledge Elder Abuse Day, let’s take a moment to ask the Governor and his team critical questions about the ongoing crisis in Ohio’s nursing homes.