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DeWine, Who Backed Hobby Lobby, Says He's Pleased with Supreme Court Ruling

Attorney General Mike DeWine speaks at a May 2014 press conference. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
Attorney General Mike DeWine speaks at a May 2014 press conference. (Nick Castele / ideastream)

Mike DeWine is an avowed opponent of the Affordable Care Act and wrote a brief that was signed by Republican attorneys general from 19 other states. DeWine argued in that brief supporting Hobby Lobby’s case that families who create closely held corporations do not forfeit their religious beliefs when they decided to form their businesses.

“And really the Court was agreeing with what we had filed in our brief, the arguments that we had made," DeWine said. He said he felt it was worth putting state resources behind. "Attorney generals all over the country and throughout recent history in Ohio have joined cases where they thought there was substantial interest at stake, and this certainly was one.”

But DeWine’s Democratic opponent this fall, David Pepper, says this case wasn’t one that the AG of Ohio should have weighed in on, and that he should be more focused on untested rape kits and the heroin crisis.

“Hobby Lobby has its own attorneys," Pepper said. "They’re good lawyers, some of the best in the country. Let Hobby Lobby make its own arguments. They don’t need the attorney general’s office, paid for by Ohio taxpayers, going to the mat for their causes. It’s just, to me – this job is not supposed to be all about politics and ideology, but that’s what Mike DeWine has turned it into.”

There are 30 Hobby Lobby stores in Ohio, but DeWine says he’s uncertain how many other businesses might be affected by this ruling.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.