Contemporary Conversations: Constitution Day with Ohio Attorney General David Yost

September 20, 2023

Contemporary Conversations: Constitution Day with Ohio Attorney General David Yost

In this episode of The American Idea, Jeff Sikkenga, the executive director of the Ashbrook Center, engages in a conversation with Ohio’s Attorney General, Dave Yost. They delve into the core responsibilities and challenges faced by the Attorney General’s office, highlighting its crucial role in upholding the state’s laws and Constitution.

The Duties of Ohio’s Attorney General

Dave Yost begins by emphasizing the multifaceted responsibilities of the Ohio Attorney General’s office. These duties can be categorized into several key areas:

  • Law Enforcement Support: The office assists local law enforcement agencies through investigative and laboratory support, as well as training programs for police officers.
  • Legal Representation: It represents the state government in various court proceedings, whether as a defendant or a plaintiff, ensuring the state’s interests are protected.
  • Constitutional Defense: The Attorney General’s office plays a pivotal role in defending Ohio’s statutes and pushing back against federal overreach, upholding the principles of federalism.

Priorities for Ohio’s Attorney General

As the recently reelected Attorney General, Yost outlines his top priorities for his current term:

  • Enforcing Federalist Principles: Yost emphasizes the importance of enforcing the Constitution’s limitations on both federal and state governments. Ohio’s Constitution explicitly states that all political power resides in the people, and Yost is committed to preserving these principles.
  • Fighting Human Trafficking: Yost is dedicated to combatting the insidious problem of human trafficking, even though it often operates in the shadows. He is actively working to collect accurate data and raise awareness about this critical issue.
  • Police Training: Recognizing the critical role of law enforcement in upholding public order, Yost stresses the need for ongoing, comprehensive training for police officers. This training covers various aspects, including constitutional procedures, use of force, and handling challenging situations such as citizen auditors.

The Importance of Properly Trained Police Force

Yost underscores the significance of a well-trained police force in maintaining public safety and order. The police are often the first line of defense in upholding citizens’ constitutional rights. They operate under immense pressure, requiring them to make critical decisions in real-time. Yost also highlights the importance of training officers to use force judiciously and within the bounds of the law.

Combating Human Trafficking in Ohio

Human trafficking is a pressing issue that often goes unnoticed. Yost acknowledges the challenges of collecting accurate data on the scale of the problem. Collaborating with institutions like the University of Toledo, Yost aims to establish better data collection methods and create strategies to combat this hidden menace.

Future Challenges for Ohio’s Attorney General

In the final part of the conversation, Yost touches upon some challenges that the Attorney General’s office might face in the coming years. One emerging challenge is the need to address the mental state or intent (mens rea) in criminal cases. As society evolves, the legal system must adapt to new issues and complexities.

Ohio’s Attorney General, Dave Yost, remains committed to upholding the state’s Constitution, fighting for justice, and ensuring the safety and well-being of Ohio’s residents. His office plays a pivotal role in maintaining the delicate balance between individual liberties and the rule of law, making it a cornerstone of the state’s legal system.

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