FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2020

Ohio Dept. of Health has no Constitutional Authority to Overrule State Legislation Protecting Parents, Children, and Daycares

Mason, OH – The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law today filed suit on behalf of 40 daycare centers across Ohio to enjoin the Ohio Department of Health from continuing to enforce its arbitrary limits, as implemented through the Director’s May 29, 2020 Order, on the number of children daycares may supervise.

The May 29 Order severely reduces the number of children each adult staff member may supervise and the number of children who may be in the same room at any one time, even though the statutes governing daycares expressly protect their right to care for larger groups of children:

  • The Director’s Order reduces the number of pre-schoolers a staff member may care for from 14 to nine.
  • The Director’s Order reduces the number of school-aged-children a staff member may care for from 20 to nine.
  • The Director’s Order reduces the number of children who may be within the same room, regardless of the size of the space, from 40 to nine.

However, agency regulations attempting to overrule express legislation on the same subject violate Ohio’s Separation of Powers limits. And in this case the Ohio Revised Code expressly provides that no administrative regulations may conflict with the group sizes the General Assembly has protected.

“The Ohio Constitution protects Ohioans from unelected government administrators attempting to override statutes passed by elected representatives, no matter what the rationale,” explained 1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson. “These regulations are particularly pernicious because they limit child care options for parents needing to return to work, dramatically raise the costs of these options, and threaten to bankrupt Ohio daycares.”

The case is pending before Judge Timothy Tepe in Warren County, Ohio.

Read the 1851 Center’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction Here.

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The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law is a nonprofit, nonpartisan legal center dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government abuse. The 1851 Center litigates constitutional issues related to property rights, regulation, taxation, and searches and seizures.