Groups of Ohioans Defy Gov. DeWine’s 'Stay At Home' Edict To Protest State Shutdown

P. Gardner Goldsmith | April 15, 2020
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At a time in US history when Americans of many political stripes are questioning the reliability of CDC pandemic statistics, where even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wonders about the numbers and about the wisdom of political mandates shutting down free enterprise and commanding people to “shelter-in-place”, it appears that the folks are fed-up.

In Michigan, a move to recall leftist Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) is gaining momentum and garnering publicity, as residents rise against her authoritarian lockdown of personal lives, closure of private business, attack of the Second Amendment, and her double-standards on citizen freedom to take hydroxychloroquine.

And in Ohio, a lesser-known, but just as intense, move by many residents just saw them defying the “Shelter At Home” lockdown of Governor Mike DeWine (R).

On April 9, crowds of disgusted and angry Ohioans took to the streets and congregated outside the doors of the State Capitol, where they angrily did something that, perhaps, a few federal politicians should have done long ago. They stood up for the Bill of Rights and their inherent natural rights that exist regardless of what state or federal politicians say.

An act that citizens repeated on Monday, April 13th.

Chanting, “Open Ohio!”, some carrying pro-rights, pro-Constitution signs reading, “You will be held accountable for civil and constitutional violations” and “My Constitutional Rights Are Essential”, calling for the resignation of Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton, and demanding the revocation of DeWine’s edicts, the protesters were shut out of the building, and pressed against the doors and windows.

One videographer and protester said: 

Businesses are closing down. The food banks are empty. We’ve got a lot of problems here in Ohio.

Indeed, they do.

As Jim Zarolli and Avie Schneider note for National Public Radio, the state has seen 694,779 unemployment benefit claims in the three weeks following DeWine’s “order”, and residents of the Buckeye State aren’t just concerned with their finances.

These protesters understand their rights, and they know that Mr. DeWine not only has no power to shut down businesses, based on any reading of the Ohio Constitution, he is strictly prohibited from abridging the right of peaceable assembly.

Not only that, DeWine and all state politicians are supposed to be bound by the strictures of the US Constitution where that document forbids certain state actions or strictly protects certain activities from state infringement.

One could argue that DeWine’s “Shelter At Home” mandate, and his shut-down of what he deems are “non-essential businesses” viciously contravene the Fifth Amendment’s “Takings Clause” by forbidding use of private property (a business) for peaceful voluntary activity. His actions violate the same Amendment’s prohibition of punishment without due process of law. They violate the Sixth Amendment’s supposed assurance of a “speedy trial” before a jury of peers. They violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment (since there has been no criminal activity, any punishment is both unusual and cruel). And they violate the Fourteenth Amendment:

…No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…

Some Ohioans are clearly not accepting the current situation - and letting their opinions be known.