Ohio lawyer group stirs anger wading into politics

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state's largest professional organization of lawyers generally stays above the fray of election politics.

This year that was different.

For the first time in 25 years, the Ohio State Bar Association waded into a ballot battle. It involved a constitutional amendment to overhaul Ohio's redistricting process.

The association's decision to oppose the issue outraged many members. It sparked about 200 complaint emails and protest votes by some local bar associations. State filings show the bar spent at least $236,000 on a political consultant for the effort.

Critics say OSBA president Patrick Fischer may have been subject to political influence because he wants a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court.

Fischer and other bar association officials say the content of the proposed amendment, not politics, was behind their position.

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