Toledo voters passed the Lake Erie Bill of Rights in 2019, giving Toledoans the legal right to sue anyone accused of violating the lake’s right under LEBOR to “exist, flourish and naturally evolve.” The very next day, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of LEBOR was filed by Wood County farmer Mark Drewes.
After the Lake Erie Bill of Rights was definitively ruled invalid, with the U.S. District Court Judge noting that the verdict was not a close call, many thought that this would be the last of LEBOR.
Instead, the city of Toledo pursued an appeal against Drewes, still arguing LEBOR should be valid. But in early May, the city of Toledo voluntarily dismissed its own appeal. This dismissal marked the end of the road for LEBOR, leaving in place Judge Zouhary’s opinion that it is invalid.
“We were certainly pleased with Judge Zouhary’s opinion, which stated what we knew all along: LEBOR was invalid and unworkable. Like LEBOR itself, further appeal would have only meant unnecessary litigation and legal fees,” said Leah Curtis, policy counsel for Ohio Farm Bureau. “Ohio farmers have plenty of challenges right now, and we are glad to say that LEBOR is no longer one of them.”