Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio). AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File
A group of Ohio GOP legislators have filed 12 articles of impeachment against Gov. Mike DeWine over the state’s coronavirus-related restrictions, according to The Washington Post.
The group alleges that the DeWine administration has enacted unconstitutional orders to further prevent the virus’s transmission throughout the state.
Reps. John Becker, Nino Vitale, Candice Keller, and Paul Zeltwanger have described the move as “an effort to restore the rule of law.”
DeWine, who on November 19 introduced a three-week curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19, said, “There’s a small number of people out there making a lot of noise. I just wish they’d go spend some time talking to somebody who suffered through this.”
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A group of GOP legislators in Ohio have officially filed articles of impeachment against Republican Gov. Mike DeWine over the state’s coronavirus rules, according to The Washington Post.
Reps. John Becker, Nino Vitale, Candice Keller, and Paul Zeltwanger have filed 12 articles of impeachment against DeWine, with Becker describing the action as “an effort to restore the rule of law.”
The group alleges that the DeWine administration has enacted unconstitutional orders to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 across Ohio.
In a statement, Becker’s office slammed the governor’s health-related efforts to combat the virus.
“Governor DeWine’s mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, abuse of power, and other crimes include, but are not limited to, meddling in the conduct of a presidential primary election, arbitrarily closing and placing curfews on certain businesses, while allowing other businesses to remain open,” the statement read. “He weaponized the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to bully and harass businesses and the people; to enforce a statewide mask mandate and other controversial measures of dubious ‘value,’ making Ohio a hostile work environment.”
The group contends that DeWine violated the civil liberties of Ohio residents by enacting a stay-at-home order this past March and by requiring citizens to wear masks when out in public.
In a November 30 news conference, DeWine criticized the impeachment efforts and instead asked lawmakers to concentrate on the plight of those who are working to fight the virus and those who have experienced it themselves or lost a loved one to the illness.
“There’s a small number of people out there making a lot of noise,” he said. “I just wish they’d go spend some time talking to somebody who suffered through this.”
In August, Becker, Vitale, and Zeltwanger threatened to file articles of impeachment against DeWine, but ultimately punted on doing so. The governor also dismissed that effort.
“My priorities are to keep people safe and to get our economy moving faster and getting people more people to work, growing our economy and saving lives,” DeWine said at the time. “If there are others in the legislature who want to spend their time drawing up resolutions and filing articles … I’d just say to them, ‘Have at it.'”
For the effort to succeed, a majority of the GOP-controlled Ohio House of Representatives would have to approve the legislation. Two-thirds of the Ohio Senate, which is also dominated by Republicans, would then have to convict DeWine.
On November 19, a three-week curfew to reduce the spread of COVID-19 went into effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and is limiting some business and restaurant operations in Ohio.
As of Tuesday, more than 13.5 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 268,600 have died, based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of those, Ohio accounts for at least 421,063 cases and 6,429 deaths.
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