CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court has upheld dismissal of a lawsuit over a proposed constitutional amendment ballot issue.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati agreed Tuesday with a lower court’s ruling against a group that claimed its First Amendment rights were violated by an Ohio Ballot Board decision.

The board said in 2016 that the proposal to impose term limits on state Supreme Court justices and remove special legal protections provided to state lawmakers and their staffs required two separate ballot issues.

Part of the proposal would preclude judges who served nine or more consecutive years on the court from being re-elected or appointed. Its second element would provide that all state laws apply equally to members and employees of the General Assembly.