Brief filed: 12/27/2016
State of Ohio v. Batista
Supreme Court of Ohio; Case No. 2016-0903
On Appeal from the Hamilton County Court of Appeals, First Appellate District, Court of Appeals Case No. 150341.
R.C. 2903.11(B)(1) ("The Act") violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection. Equal protection forbids arbitrary, irrational classifications. The Act singles out people living with HIV for differential treatment. The Act cannot survive rational basis review. The Act's classification is arbitrary because it is over-inclusive. HIV-specific criminal laws are empirically proven to have no effect on the spread of HIV. Criminalization of nondisclosure is counterproductive. The absence of any rational basis for the Act suggests unlawful animus. The Act violates prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of disability.
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Valerie Kunze, Office of the Ohio Public Defender, Columbus, OH; Lawrence S. Lustberg & Avram Frey, Gibbons P.C., Newark, NJ; Catherine Hanssens & Mayo Schreiber, Jr., Center for HIV Law and Policy, New York, NY.