Extra! Extra! Court Reverses Itself in State v. Aalim; Upholds Mandatory Juvenile Transfer Statutes.

Update: Read the analysis of the new merit decision here.

Oh my. The court has granted reconsideration in State v. Aalim, Slip Opinion No. 2017-Ohio-2956, and this time has upheld the mandatory juvenile transfer statutes it struck down December 22, 2016, in State v. Aalim, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-8278. This post is just a brief announcement of this dramatic turn of events.  More when I have a chance to really analyze this 53 page decision. That will take awhile.

Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion for the court. Here is the opening paragraph;

{¶ 1} “This court has the authority to grant motions for reconsideration filed under S.Ct.Prac.R. 18.02 in order to “correct decisions which, upon reflection, are deemed to have been made in error.” State ex rel. Huebner v. W. Jefferson Village Council, 75 Ohio St.3d 381, 383, 662 N.E.2d 339 (1995). In seeking reconsideration of this court’s decision in State v. Aalim, __ Ohio St.3d __, 2016- Ohio-8278, __ N.E.3d __ (“Aalim I”), the state argues that the court failed to consider Article IV, Section 4(B) of the Ohio Constitution, which grants the General Assembly exclusive authority to define the jurisdiction of the courts of common pleas. We agree.”

Joining Kennedy were Justices O’Donnell, French, and DeWine. Justice Fischer also joined the majority in its holding, after again first expressing his position, as he did in State v. Gonzales, ___ Ohio St.3d ___, 2017-Ohio-777, ___ N.E.3d ___, ¶ 24, , that he would not grant reconsideration in any case he had not heard, but if a majority granted reconsideration, he would rule on the merits.  Justice DeWine also wrote a separate concurrence, in an opinion joined by Justice O’Donnell.  Chief Justice O’Connor dissented, joined by Justice O’Neill, who also wrote a separate solo dissent.  Scorecard, anyone? One thing is certain.  Chief Justice O’Connor is already missing now-retired Justices Lanzinger (author of the original Aalim decision) and Justice Pfeifer. Those three, plus Justice O’Neill made up the original majority.

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