Report: Eric Murphy

Murphy actively sought to weaken the rights of women, persons of color, and LGBTQ Americans as well as environmental protections.

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From Huffington Post:

Democrats criticized Murphy’s nomination for several reasons. He argued in 2015 that same-sex marriage would be “disruptive … to our constitutional democracy” in a brief he filed in the Obergefell v. Hodges marriage equality case before the Supreme Court. In 2014, he argued against women’s access to contraception in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby.

But Murphy is perhaps best known for defending Ohio’s notorious voter purge law before the Supreme Court in 2018, arguing that the state should be able to drop people from its voter rolls if they don’t vote for six years and don’t respond to a postcard asking them to confirm their address. The court upheld the law in a contentious 5-4 decision, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor writing in her dissent that the law will disproportionately make it harder for “minority, low-income, disabled, homeless, and veteran voters to cast a ballot.”

That same year, Murphy argued in favor of upholding the so-called perfection requirement, allowing Ohio to discard ballots because of minor clerical errors.

In 2014, Murphy defended the elimination of Ohio’s “Golden Week,” a five-day period in which voters could register and vote at the same time. The state created the period in response to the 2004 election, when many Ohio voters were forced to wait in line for up to 12 hours to vote. The 6th Circuit ruled in favor of getting rid of the period, but Judge Jane Stranch wrote in her dissent that it would impose “a disproportionate burden on African Americans” and “was linked to social and historical conditions of discrimination that diminish the ability of African Americans to participate in the political process.”

From the Alliance for Justice:

Currently, Murphy is the State Solicitor of Ohio in the Office of the Attorney General. In the course of his career, Murphy has fought to make it easier for Ohio to disenfranchise voters, has argued against marriage equality in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), case, has attacked reproductive rights, and has repeatedly sided with special interests over all Americans. Murphy’s record demonstrates a narrow-minded elitism that raises serious concerns that he will undermine critical rights and legal protections.


Similarly, the record Murphy established in the attorney general’s office, in our view, “represents an advocacy position that is extreme,” in that he has sought to weaken the rights of women, persons of color, and LGBTQ Americans, as well as environmental protections.

Senator Sherrod Brown opposes Murphy‘s confirmation, explaining, “I cannot support nominees who have actively worked to strip Ohioans of their rights. Special interests already have armies of lobbyists and lawyers on their side, they don’t need judges in their pockets.”

The Alliance for Justice background report on Eric Murphy can be found here.

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