Statement on Cleveland’s “Fannie Lewis Law” Appellate Court Victory

CONTACT: Franco Ripple, 352-219-6029franco@catecomm.com

Statement on Cleveland’s “Fannie Lewis Law” Appellate Court Victory

Cleveland, Ohio — Today, Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals ruled that HB 180 is unconstitutional.

The court upheld the Cuyahoga County Court’s permanent injunction of the law, which had been appealed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. Earlier this year, Judge Michael J. Russo had ruled that the Ohio General Assembly and Governor John Kasich had overstepped by passing HB 180, which prevented the City of Cleveland from enforcing the “Fannie Lewis Law” that ensures local residents a share of work on local public construction projects. The appellate court’s ruling can be downloaded here.

Michael Alfano, campaign manager for the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions (CDLS), a nationwide coalition defending home rule against state preemption laws, issued the following statement:

“Today’s decision is a big win for home rule in Ohio. It’s a strong message to heavy-handed state legislatures that common sense local solutions are here to stay. CDLS and our partners are continuing to provide support to cities and counties fighting preemption in the courts. An attack on one local community is an attack on all - this ruling shows that when cities defend local values, cities win.”

CDLS had filed an amicus curiae brief in the appellate case in June. Nestor Davidson, Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, Faculty Director of the Urban Law Center, and one of the brief’s authors, issued the following statement:

“The Court of Appeals’ ruling that Ohio unconstitutionally overreached in attempting to block Cleveland’s Fannie Lewis law is an excellent example of a court protecting a city’s ability to tackle serious local challenges. As states try to rewrite city power across the country, cities have been fighting back and it is encouraging that the courts are responding.”

This is part of a growing trend of conservative state legislatures banning local ordinances with which they disagree, despite local authority. More on this trend from The Atlantic‘s CityLab.

As seen in The New York Times, the Washington PostUSA Today, NBC News, and Slate, the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions is a Florida-based national coalition of elected officials, organizations, and individuals from 43 states, fighting against state preemption of local communities.