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Yost Files Amicus Brief in Ohio Supreme Court Case on Appealability of Preliminary Injunctions


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Attorney General Dave Yost has told the Ohio Supreme Court that he agrees with the City of Columbus that it should be able to appeal a preliminary injunction the state won to block enforcement of the city’s firearm regulations.

In his filing with the court, Yost’s amicus brief makes it clear that while the State of Ohio disagrees with Columbus on the merits of imposing additional firearms regulations, it staunchly defends the city's right to its day in court regarding the appeal of the preliminary injunction.

“Preliminary injunctions must be appealable to ensure justice,” Yost said. “This brief underscores that both the State and cities need the right to an immediate appeal when their laws are enjoined.”

The case presents a critical opportunity to ensure that such preliminary injunctions—the kind that block a law’s enforcement—are appealable, regardless of the underlying legal dispute.

The case involves the city of Columbus, which seeks to enforce its own firearms regulations that conflict with state law. The preliminary injunction prevents the city from enforcing these local laws. While the State of Ohio and Columbus disagree on the underlying merits (because the State believes that the city infringes on law-abiding citizens’ rights to bear arms), both agree on the critical procedural issue before the court: whether Columbus can immediately appeal the preliminary injunction.

“The rule of law means the same rules for everybody,” Yost said. “It doesn’t matter state or city, Democrats or Republicans – the same rules should apply to all.”

Yost asks the court to allow for immediate appeals for preliminary injunctions to ensure swift resolution so that justice is administered fairly. The case serves as a crucial step toward protecting the procedural rights of all parties involved in legal disputes over the enforcement of laws, specifically by:

  • Ensuring preliminary injunctions against enforcing democratically enacted laws are appealable: Preliminary injunctions that block enforcement of laws should be immediately appealable to provide an effective remedy for appellants and to prevent prolonged legal battles that undermine the enforcement of state and local laws.
  • Extending appeal rights to municipalities: Cities, like states, should be able to appeal preliminary injunctions to protect their ability to enforce local ordinances and laws. Without the right to immediately appeal the injunction, both cities and the state suffer irreparable harm when their laws are placed on hold.
  • Addressing the broader implications: Denying immediate appeals to cities would create inconsistencies in the legal system, as private parties often have the right to appeal adverse rulings on issues like trade secrets and attorney-client privilege. Lack of immediate appeal options in cases like this encourages plaintiffs to prolong litigation, thus extending preliminary relief indefinitely. Ohio's legal system would become one-sided, favoring plaintiffs alleging constitutional violations while denying states and municipalities an equal opportunity to appeal.


Hannah Hundley: 614-906-9113 

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