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House Dems Seek Legal Split from GOP in Early Voting Lawsuit

Ask DeWine for same access to legal representation as GOP members
September 10, 2014
Democrat Newsroom

House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) sent a letter today to Attorney General (AG) Mike DeWine requesting representation from the AG’s office or approved outside counsel for Democratic members seeking to intervene in the NAACP v. Husted early voting case. 

On Monday, Republican lawmakers joined Secretary of State Jon Husted in appealing the recent district court decision, but Leader Heard contends that the GOP intervention does not represent Democratic members’ interest of protecting early voting.

“Our Republican colleagues have been granted intervention as a full party with counsel provided by your office to the ‘Ohio General Assembly,’” Leader Heard stated in the letter. “However, the interests of House Democratic members—to protect the early voting opportunities that the district court has ordered—diverge from those of the majority party and are not represented by the ‘Ohio General Assembly’ as a party to the lawsuit.”

A copy of the letter can be seen below:

The Honorable Mike DeWine
Ohio Attorney General
30 East Broad Street, 14th floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Dear Attorney General DeWine,

I write to request representation from the Office of the Attorney General for myself and my Democratic colleagues as we seek to intervene in the NAACP v. Husted lawsuit.

Our Republican colleagues have been granted intervention as a full party with counsel provided by your office to the “Ohio General Assembly.” However, the interests of House Democratic members—to protect the early voting opportunities that the district court has ordered—diverge from those of the majority party and are not represented by the “Ohio General Assembly” as a party to the lawsuit.

I seek representation for myself and my Democratic colleagues from your office so that we have equal opportunity to intervene.

If the AG’s Office is unable to provide us representation due to your staff’s assignment to the Defendants, we will work with you to best select outside counsel to represent our Democratic members. 

We look forward to your expedited response to this time-sensitive request. 

Yours in service,

Tracy Maxwell Heard
State Representative, 26th District
Democratic Leader