Judge Nominees Have Worked to Make it Harder to Vote in Ohio

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the nominations of Chad Readler and Eric Murphy to serve on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Both Readler and Murphy have proven too extreme for Ohio, with combined records of working to roll back healthcare protections, to strip Ohioans’ of their voting rights, to deny Ohioans their right to marry, and to eliminate reforms to hold Ohio charter schools accountable. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) opposed both nominees when they were first announced by President Trump last year and continues to oppose their nominations today.

Ahead of their nomination hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ohioans deserve to understand Murphy and Readler’s records on the issues that matter to Ohio families.

This week, the Office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is outlining the harmful and radical records of the respective nominees. Today, we will highlight Readler and Murphy’s efforts to chip away at Ohioans’ voting rights and to purge Ohio voters from the state’s voter rolls. As former Ohio Secretary of State, Senator Brown has always fought to protect Ohioans’ rights to vote. 

Read more about Readler and Murphy’s records on stripping voting rights below:

Chad Readler

Helping Eliminate Golden Week in Ohio

Representing the Buckeye Institute, a Koch-Brothers’ funded Conservative think tank, Readler submitted a legal brief in support of ending Golden Week in Ohio, a week in which Ohioans could register to vote and vote early in the same week. Golden Week was established in Ohio due to long voting lines during the 2004 election in which many Ohioans left their polling place without voting. His argument made it harder for Ohioans to register and vote. 

Blocking Young People’s Right to Vote

Readler defended an effort by the state of Ohio to block 17-year-olds’ right to vote in a primary election if the voter would be 18 by the time of the general election. The case was filed one week before the primary election in 2016, when thankfully a Franklin County court ruled against Husted and Readler, allowing eligible 17-year-olds to vote in the primary. 


Eric Murphy

Leading Efforts to Purge Ohio Voters

In 2018, Murphy secured Ohio’s decision to kick Ohioans off the rolls for not voting, even if they were duly registered, never moved, and showed up at the correct location to vote.  Murphy represented the State of Ohio in court and successfully secured a Supreme Court ruling that will kick Ohioans off the rolls and threaten Ohioans’ right to vote.  

In her Husted dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted that the data showed that Ohio’s approach to purging voters “has disproportionately affected minority, low-income, disabled, and veteran voters. As one example, amici point to an investigation that revealed that in Hamilton County, “African-American-majority neighborhoods in downtown Cincinnati had 10% of their voters removed due to inactivity” since 2012, as “compared to only 4% of voters in a suburban, majority-white neighborhood.”

Helping Eliminate Golden Week in Ohio

Murphy, along with Readler, helped lead the legal battle to outlaw “Golden Week” in Ohio.

Arguing for Ohio Ballots to Be Tossed Out

Murphy defended the State of Ohio in a case where Murphy argued that Ohioans’ ballots should be thrown out if they include minor errors, including spelling errors, and that Ohioans should have less time to prove the identification listed on their ballots. The so-called ‘perfection requirement’ that Murphy supported means fewer ballots are counted in Ohio.