Ohio Alcohol Prohibition Enforcement, the New Crabbe Act Referendum (1920)

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The Ohio Alcohol Prohibition Enforcement Referendum, also known as Referendum 1, was on the November 8, 1920 ballot in Ohio as a veto referendum, where the legislative act in question was approved. However, in 1927 the act was overturned in the United States Supreme Court decision Tumey v. Ohio.[1][2] This measure was a veto referendum of a law providing enforcement of prohibition.[1][2]

Aftermath

Tumey v. Ohio

After the enactment of the New Crabbe Act, a man, Tumey, was arrested and fined in Ohio for illegal possession of alcohol. One of the provisions of the Crabbe Act was to provide additional compensation to various officials for enforcement of liquor-related cases. Tumey appealed the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court that the act violated his right to "due process of law" under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court sided with Tumey, effectively overturning the New Crabbe Act.[2][3]

Following the decision, the Ohio General Assembly passed new, but similar, legislation to provide compensation to officials for enforcement of prohibition. That legislation, known as the Marshall Bill, was put to veto referendum in 1927 and defeated.[2][3]

Election results

Ohio Referendum 1 (1920)
OverturnedotOverturned Case:Tumey v. Ohio 273 US 510 (1927)
ResultVotesPercentage
Yes 1,062,470 57.91%
No772,32942.09%

Election results via: Ohio Secretary of State

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

House Bill No. 620, Passed by the General Assembly of Ohio and Ordered Referred to the Electors of the State.

SHALL HOUSE BILL No. 620 BE APPROVED AS PASSED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY JANUARY 26, 1920, APPROVED BY THE GOVERNOR, FEBRUARY 16, 1920, AND FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE, FEBRUARY 17, 1920.
To prohibit the liquor traffic and to provide the administration and enforcement of such prohibition and repeal certain sections of the General Code.[4][5]

Path to the ballot

The 18th Amendment of the United States Constitution, enacting federal prohibition on alcohol, was ratified in 1919.[6] Upon ratification, the Ohio General Assembly passed the first Crabbe Act to provide for strict enforcement of the amendment in Ohio. The Act was put on the 1919 ballot via referendum petition, where it was defeated. Shortly thereafter the General Assembly adopted the New Crabbe Act. This was again put to the referendum via petition and became this measure.[1][2]

See also

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References