Inside the sausage factory of criminal lawmaking…
Henry Grabar in Slate writes about Ohio lawmakers’ move to stop Cleveland from making its own laws: “At a gangbusters lame-duck legislative session,” Grabar writes, “Ohio Republicans have passed an anti-local omnibus bill to strip power from the state’s cities and towns.”
In an omnibus bill, one that includes many different topics, voting remains a yes or no matter. In other words, you vote for (or against) the entire package.
This means, when it comes to Senate Bill 331:
You’re either for bestiality or against it.
As Grabar points out, the bill happens to contain an anti-bestiality provision. The Dayton Daily News quotes one lawmaker on the matter: “[W]e don’t want Ohio to be the place you can come and have sex with an animal.” Surely. But SB 331 doesn’t stop at outlawing bestiality. It stops Cleveland from making its own law on minimum wage and paid leave.
In Grabar’s colorful terms:
‘A vote for local autonomy on labor laws is a vote for pigschtupping’
In other words, it’ll be tough for opposing lawmakers to vote no.
It’s a smart (and now classic) political move on the part of those who support the bill. Looking at it from an emotional perspective, few citizens are likely to overlook the anti-bestiality part of this bill. Even fewer citizens would vote for a politician who opposed such a bill.
Politicians who do oppose it will help provide great sound bite fodder for their political opponents’ future advertising campaigns. Therefore, Ohio is soon likely to have a new criminal law on the books. At the same time, local government is stripped of power – the real point of SB 331.
Welcome to the sausage factory.