OH Supreme Court Rejects Local Ballot Protest

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Residents in three Ohio counties where Secretary of State Jon Husted  invalidated anti-fracking ballot issues have lost a lawsuit before the Ohio Supreme Court.

Justices said in a 6-1 decision Wednesday that Husted didn’t have the discretion to assess the legality of “community rights charters” offered in Fulton, Medina and Athens counties, but he had another valid reason to toss the measures.

The charters effectively would have banned the gas-drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, by restricting all related development projects. Husted said that unconstitutionally circumvented state fracking law that had already been litigated. The court said the move was outside Husted’s authority.

However, they ruled a secondary reason Husted cited – that the issues failed to satisfy threshold requirements for legal charter initiatives – was justified.