Pat Fischer “Proven Protector” TV ad
Watch the ad:
In this ad, a voiceover says, “Justice Pat Fischer is a proven protector of our families. He knows that a good economy starts with safe streets and Fischer’s strong support of the Constitution and rule of law has kept murderers and rapists behind bars. It’s why Fischer supports State Issue 1 and giving judges the discretion to protect your family from dangerous criminals, and why he’s endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio. Vote for safer streets and a stronger economy. Vote Pat Fischer for the Ohio Supreme Court.”
Who's responsible for this ad?
This is a traditional candidate ad paid for by the Fischer for Ohio committee. Contributions to candidates are available on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.
The Brennan Center for Justice’s Buying Time project has been tracking political spending in state Supreme Court races. Click here for information about political ads and spending in the Ohio Supreme Court races this year.
Check out some recent articles about the Ohio Supreme Court candidates’ fundraising:
- Ohio Republicans trounce Democratic challengers in raising, spending campaign cash, Cincinnati Enquirer, October 27, 2022
- Republican Ohio Supreme Court justice candidates outraise Democrats in weeks before Nov. 8 election, Cleveland.com, October 27, 2022
Discussion and Analysis
This ballot measure arose because of a case that came before the Ohio Supreme Court earlier this year.
In a 4-3 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld a decision by an intermediate state appellate court to reduce the bail of a criminal defendant from $1,500,000 to $500,000, deeming the $1.5 million excessive.
The State of Ohio appealed on the grounds that trial courts should be permitted to consider public safety concerns when setting bail amounts. The Ohio Supreme Court disagreed and reiterated that the sole purpose of bail is to ensure a person’s attendance in court. Under Ohio Criminal Rule. 46, a trial court may not impose bail that violates the constitutional prohibition against bail in an amount higher than an amount reasonably calculated to ensure the accused’s presence in court.
State law already carries provisions that eliminate bail altogether for dangerous defendants if prosecutors ask for it.
Justice Pat Fischer disagreed with the majority, wrote a dissenting opinion, and is now supporting a constitutional amendment, Issue 1, to require judges to consider public safety when setting bail.
Pro and Cons on Issue 1 created by the League of Women Voters of Ohio:
- Bail is about appearing for the person’s court date according to the guidelines and the Ohio Supreme Court. This amendment ensures that courts, when setting bail, consider factors such as public safety, an individual’s criminal record, and the severity of the offense committed.
- Courts can consider public safety, among other factors, when setting the financial conditions of bail rather than the longer process of denying bail completely.
- Puts cash bail and its conditions in the Ohio Constitution.
- Gives individual courts more discretion in determining bail.
- This amendment would no longer require the Ohio Supreme Court to establish consistent rules of bail, placing cash bail and its conditions directly in the Ohio Constitution.
- There is no substantial evidence that bail ensures public safety. But rather, it can worsen or create inequities.
- Bail allows some accused persons with enough money to be freed pretrial, while others without enough money remain incarcerated for the same or lesser crime.
- Cash bail may lead the accused in jail during pretrial to plead guilty in exchange for their freedom while awaiting trial.
The Ohio Supreme Court makes final decisions about a wide variety of public policies beyond criminal justice, ranging from how public utilities are regulated to state legislative and congressional voting districts. Important cases that have gone up through common pleas courts and appellate courts end up in the Ohio Supreme Court for final judgment.