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« Ohio Supreme Court upholds Toledo breed ban | Main | HSUS Annual Report »

August 01, 2007

Comments

pitbullEmily

good analysis. The ruling seems remarkably stupid not to mention tautological.. pit bulls are shot at more because police shoot at pit bulls more. What the h*** kind of judicial reasoning is that????

It reads a whole lot like the Colorado Supreme Court ruling, also stupid.

Unfortunately, supreme courts make stupid rulings, and there is little recourse OTHER THAN TO CHANGE LAWS. Courts typically defer to localities on health/safety issues.

We'll hear a clamor from some to go to the US Supreme Court. That's a fool's errand. The Supreme Court is not going to hear a local case about local health/safety.

Let's get our heads out of the sand. The courts don't believe there is a constitutional right to own a particular type of dog with no restrictions. It doesn't matter how much WE think we should have that right.

In this regard, it really is no different from the legal and court-upheld restrictions on certain kinds of firearms. Gun ownership is protected by the US Constitution (unlike dog ownership, by the way). Yet, you can't own certain kinds of weapons. If the courts have upheld restrictions on a clearly defined Constitutional right, there's no way they are going to overturn restrictions on lesser rights.

Mac

Here is a link to the ruling.

http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/0/2007/2007-ohio-3724.pdf

Michelled

Emily, your point is basically what I've always thought/said about the people making a big brew ha-ha about those that do not want dogs considered as property. Many think keeping dogs as property was the only way to defeat BSL - ie we have the right to own property/dogs. The city/states right to regulate our property ownership is FAR and WIDE - eminant domain anyone? Hell, I have to get permission/approval to paint my own house!

Also, A. mentioned that the definition of a pit bull in OH includes 14 breeds. How could then NOT be responsible for the most deaths with a grouping like that? I'll have to find this info...if anyone has it please post.

Heather Wilson

If the U.S. Supreme Court hears his case (and this is where they can act, when states are ruling differently in issues of constitutionality) this could be good right? Or bad. But, if the highest court rules BSL unconst. than it would apply to the whole country. Am I right? I have heard it suggested that the Denver case should have been appealed as well.

Heather Wilson

Is this the first state to rule BSL constitutional? I thought it won in other states where it was put to the test.

Brent

Heather,

Theoretically, yes. I think the Supreme Court could hear the case and make a national ruling on whether or not BSL is Constitutional. However, as a general rule, the Supreme Court only hears about 4% of the cases that are appealed to it...so it is unlikely for it to make it that far.

There are 3 or 4 states that have deemd BSL "unconstitutional" -- and another 10 or 11 that prohit BSL -- but have never put it under the "constitutional" test. I don't know for a fact that any other states have gone to the point of declaring it "constitutional".

Ohio's State law, and the way they approached it from a Supreme Court ruling, certainly weighed things heavily against Paul Tellings. Ohio's state constitution gives cities a lot of flexibility to violate personal property rights if the city counci deems it in the best interest of its citizens. The Supreme Court also stated that they would side with the City of Toledo unless it was proved "beyond a reasonable doubt" that it was unconstitutional (which is really hard). Any other state with more protection of personal property rights would likely have ruled in favor of Paul Tellings.

There is another lawsuite in Denver that is challenging their ban. Sonya Dias is heading up a group called the Pit Bull Band that is leading this suite. I'm looking forward to hearing her talk about it at our Conference here in KC in September...

Abby

My understanding of the constitutional/unconstitutional issues are that they surround home rule issues and police powers issues: basically do cities have the right to regulate specific types of dogs without the dogs actually having done anything and without an administrative hearing ruling that the individual dog is a threat to public safety. Missouri, Kansas, Ohio (in a two cases on city powers, but not the one on the state law), Florida and quite a few other states have ruled that it is within the scope of police powers, although most of the court cases have used a rational basis test, which is pretty weak test for police powers.

On Toledo's use of a very broad definition of "pit bulls" and "pit bull type dogs," I had an email exchange with a Toledo Blade writer last year about an American Bulldog attack that was grouped in a pit bull category. I believe the headline had "pit bull" and I emailed to correct. The writer informed me that according to Skeldon AB's are pit bulls or pit bull type dogs. She said that Skeldon argues that there are 16 breeds and mixes that have pit bull characterstics and fall within their police powers with BSL.

Tim

The Supreme Court has finally got it right!

Brent

Yes Tim. We should all be celebrating. The precedent that the government has the right to prevent personal property ownership without cause is a glorious decision. The idea that people can be found guilty of something and must prove innocence (because there is no way for the government to prove whether or not something is indeed a "pit bull") is a fabulous decision for us all. At some point people need to wake up and fight for their rights under the constition...or little by little all of those guaranteed rights will be taken away...

Thad...

The constitutional issue is critical although it is a shame it may have to come to this.

The 2nd amendment addresses the right to "keep and bear arms". I realize there are many views of this amendmentment. But nationwide, the Supreme Court has not deemed it appropriate to take guns away from responsible citizens. Convicted felons; yes; responsible citizens, no.

I think our forefathers would be shocked to see that the right to "keep and care for dogs" is being challenged by the government for responsible citizens. "Dog fighters" should not be allowed to "keep and care for dogs". Responsible citizens should be.

This is the issue. What a waste of energy to need to fight to bring common sense to the light of day.

Glen Bui / American Canine Foundation

Tellings is in front of the US Surpeme Court and Toledo has refused to file an opposition brief. ACF has been the source of supporting Mr Tellings who is a responsible dog owner.

The Writ filed in the US Supreme Court is
on the front page of the ACF website.

We pray the high court agrees to hear the case, it is the biggest case in history and it involves alot more than the American Pit Bull Terrier, many breeds and their owners are being targeted by BSL and its a national concern that must be addressed.

Glen Bui
ACF

Glen Bui / American Canine Foundation

Tellings is in front of the US Surpeme Court and Toledo has refused to file an opposition brief. ACF has been the source of supporting Mr Tellings who is a responsible dog owner.

The Writ filed in the US Supreme Court is
on the front page of the ACF website.

We pray the high court agrees to hear the case, it is the biggest case in history and it involves alot more than the American Pit Bull Terrier, many breeds and their owners are being targeted by BSL and its a national concern that must be addressed.

Glen Bui
ACF

Melissa

http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/docs/pdf/0/2007/2007-ohio-3724.pdf

The above is a link to the case in its entirety.

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