COLUMBUS, Ohio—A libertarian legal group is again going to court to challenge Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus restrictions – this time, regarding Ohio daycares.
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law on Tuesday filed suit in Warren County on behalf of 40 daycare centers across the state, arguing that the DeWine administration’s reopening rules for Ohio child-care centers, which took effect May 31, are unconstitutional.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of successful efforts by the 1851 Center to allow the reopening of gyms and water parks in the state. However, a third lawsuit to allow bridal shops to reopen was rejected by a federal judge.
The new lawsuit makes similar arguments to the previous suits: that Ohio’s social-distancing restrictions, ordered by then-Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton, exceeded her authority and violate daycare operators’ right to due process.
Acton’s order wrongly attempts to set stricter limits on daycare occupancy rates than what is permitted under state law, the lawsuit asserts.
“At the very same time that defendants’ own policies — through shuttering schools and nearly every child-oriented activity — have rendered daycare services more necessary to more Ohioans than ever before, defendants have unilaterally, arbitrarily, and unlawfully restricted the number of families that Ohio daycares may serve,” the suit states.
The case is before Warren County Common Pleas Judge Timothy Tepe.