COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio attorney general has rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have ended qualified immunity for state workers.
In rejecting the proposal, Ohio Attorney General David Yost wrote, “We identified omissions and misstatements that, as a whole, would mislead a potential signer as to the actual scope and effect of the proposed amendment.”
The amendment, called Protecting Ohioans’ Constitutional Rights, sought to do away with qualified immunity being used to protect state employees, including but not limited to law enforcement officers, against civil lawsuits.
This was the second attempt by the Ohio Coalition to End Qualified Immunity at submitting the proposal. It is the attorney general’s office’s responsibility to rule whether the submitted proposal is “a fair and truthful summary” of what is being proposed.
In rejecting the proposal, Yost said the proposal lacked a “fair and truthful” summary that would appear on Ohio ballots, breaking down what voters would be voting on.
“During our review of the summary, we identified omissions and misstatements that, as a whole, would mislead a potential signer as to the actual scope and effect of the proposed amendment,” Yost wrote in the rejection letter.
Proponents of the amendment said the amendment was an attempt at stopping the government from infringing on citizens’ rights.
“If we don’t hold the government accountable when our rights are violated, what is to stop the government from violating our rights?” Ohio Coalition to End Qualified Immunity Executive Director Kyle Pierce said back in late February.
In a statement Wednesday, the coalition said it plans to try submitting the proposal again after adjusting the summary based on the attorney general’s comments.
The full proposal, as submitted, and the attorney general’s letter are below.