Ohio Judge Rules Flavored Tobacco Ban Unconstitutional

Riley Sundew

Updated Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 6:25 AM CDT

Ohio Judge Rules Flavored Tobacco Ban Unconstitutional

In a landmark decision, Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Serrott declared an Ohio law that prevented cities from banning the sale of flavored tobacco products unconstitutional. Issued on Friday, the ruling enables cities like Columbus and Cincinnati to pursue their bans on such products. The law, which took effect in January after Ohio's Republican Legislature overrode Governor Mike DeWine's veto, had been challenged by over a dozen cities. Judge Serrott, who previously placed a temporary restraining order in April, found that the law infringed upon the cities' home rule rights. Despite the victory for the plaintiff cities, the ruling does not extend statewide.

Governor DeWine and anti-tobacco advocates have criticized the Legislature's override, arguing it encourages youth addiction and undermines local governance. While proponents of the vetoed measure insist on consistent statewide tobacco laws, DeWine has suggested a statewide ban on flavored tobacco to achieve uniformity.

In a related turn of events, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Texas issued a temporary restraining order against a Biden administration rule that mandated gun dealers obtain licenses and conduct background checks for sales at gun shows and online. The rule, intended to close the "gun show loophole" and set to take effect recently, faced opposition from Texas Attorney General Paxton and various gun rights groups. Judge Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, ruled that the rule contradicted the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and didn't protect most gun owners. The restraining order benefits groups like Gun Owners of America and will remain until June 2, pending further litigation.

Both rulings reflect ongoing legal battles over state versus local control and federal regulatory power, with significant implications for public health and safety policies. As the state of Ohio is expected to appeal Judge Serrott's decision and the federal government's response to Judge Kacsmaryk's ruling is awaited, these cases continue to highlight the dynamic tensions in U.S. governance.

Conservative Bias:

Once again, the liberals are on the loose, folks, trying to suffocate the freedoms of American citizens under the guise of 'public health.' In Ohio, a rogue judge has decided to t****le on the wisdom of our Republican Legislature, which sought to protect our freedoms and our economy from overreaching local bans on flavored tobacco. These bans are nothing but a nanny-state tactic to control what adults can enjoy, and it's an insult to our personal liberties. And let's not forget the federal overreach by the Biden administration, trying to impose its gun-grabbing agenda by circumventing the Second Amendment. Thankfully, a patriotic judge in Texas put a stop to that nonsense, standing up for the rights of gun owners everywhere. It's clear that the left will stop at nothing to undermine our Constitution and the values that make America great. But as long as we have strong conservative judges, we'll fight back against these tyrannical moves at every turn.

Liberal Bias:

In a stunning victory for public health and common sense, an Ohio judge has struck down the state's absurd preemption law that barred cities from taking action against the flavored tobacco epidemic—a scourge that's hooking our kids on nicotine. This Republican-backed law was a blatant power grab that prioritized tobacco industry profits over the lives of our children. Meanwhile, in Texas, a Trump-appointed judge has sided with the gun lobby to halt a critical Biden administration rule aimed at saving lives by closing the deadly gun show loophole. This is yet another example of conservative judges blatantly ignoring the will of the people and common-sense gun safety measures to appease the gun lobby and their radical Second Amendment absolutism. These conservative judges are complicit in the ongoing public health crises, from tobacco to gun violence, and it's a stark reminder of the urgent need to fight back against this dangerous conservative judicial activism.

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