Closed Cases

The Drees Company v. Hamilton Township (challenging backdoor taxes levied in townships) The 1851 Center filed amicus briefs in the 12th District Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court, arguing that Ohio townships, which do not have the power to levy taxes, cannot levy back-door taxes on new homeowners and developers.

Gahanna’s Unconstitutional, High-Risk Loan Plan (protecting taxpayer dollars)– Gahanna City Council postponed a vote authorizing a city-backed $375,000 high-risk venture capital loan fund after the 1851 Center informed council members that the Ohio Constitution prohibits the city from “raising money for or loaning its credit to any private company, corporation or association.”

Oleksa v. Murray (putting an end to corrupt union wage contracts)In October 2010 the 1851 Center filed, on behalf of residents, an Ohio Corrupt Activities Act complaint against Gov. Ted Strickland, Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) Executive Director Richard Murray, the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and others.

Slingluff v. Andover Township (protecting free speech)In September 2010, the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed a complaint and temporary restraining order against Andover Township (Ashtabula County) in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. The complaint charges that township trustees’ actions blocking a Constitution Day (Sept. 17) rally on Andover Public Square, by local residents, violated the First Amendment.

Miller v. ACORN (establishing fair elections for Ohioans) The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law achieved victory in its state RICO action against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). ACORN agreed to cease all Ohio activity and surrender all of its Ohio business licenses by June 1, 2010.

Ohio Department of Commerce v. 700 West Broad AGA, LLC (declaring prevailing wage laws unconstitutional)Ohio’s current prevailing wage law is, in part, unconstitutional, the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law argued in an amicus brief filed in May 2010 in the Tenth District Court of Appeals, Franklin County. The case exposes fundamental flaws in the current prevailing wage law.

Ohio Liberty Council v. Brunner (fighting for health care freedom)In April 2010,the 1851 Center filed a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court seeking a remedy for improper actions taken by the Ohio Ballot Board. The Ballot Board, chaired by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, rejected a proposed health care freedom constitutional amendment.

SpeechNow.org v. FEC (protecting citizens’ rights to political speech)In August 2009, the 1851 Center filed an amicus brief defending the First Amendment rights of SpeechNow.org in its legal battle with the Federal Elections Commission. The FEC viewed the non-profit much like a political action committee or PAC. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the 1851 Center’s position, and provided SpeechNow.org with a significant and precedent-setting victory.

Moto Verde v. Village of Fairfax (defending property rights of small business owners)– In July 2009, the 1851 Center advised the Village of Fairfax, an enclave in the city of Cincinnati, that it had violated the constitutional rights of Moto Verde, a motor scooter shop, by classifying it as an automobile dealership, refusing it the right to operate, and denying it a hearing.  Fairfax submitted, and today Moto Verde is open for business.

LetOhioVote.org v. Brunner (protecting fair elections)– The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in July 2009  filed an amicus brief in LetOhioVote.org v. Brunner with the Ohio Supreme Court. The legal center’s filing supports a public vote on video slot machines at Ohio horse race tracks.

COAST v. Cincinnati (fighting for the right to vote on taxpayer funded projects) In May 2009, the 1851 Center filed a legal action to prevent the City of Cincinnati and its functionaries from harassing, blocking, and threatening to arrest citizens circulating an initiative petition on public property to put Cincinnati’s proposed $200 million trolley project to a vote.

Ohio Grocer’s Association v. Ohio Tax Commissioner (pushing back unfair taxes) In May 2009 the 1851 Center argued in an amicus brief that Ohio’s Commercial Activities Tax is an unconstitutional excise tax on food which is levied on Ohio grovers based on sales. The cost of this tax is passed on to Ohio’s taxpayers when they purchase food.