The Ohio Ratification of Federal Alcohol Prohibition Referendum, also known as Referendum 1, was on the November 4, 1919 ballot in Ohio as a veto referendum, where the legislative act ratifying federal prohibition was defeated. The vote was later overturned by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Hawke v. Smith. The measure was one of four questions relating to alcohol prohibition on the 1919 Ohio ballot.
Hawke v. Smith
Hawke v. Smith was a lawsuit to overturn the results of the popular vote on the referendum. The contention of the prohibition supporters who filed the lawsuit was that the people of the state did not have the right to use their powers of veto referendum to overturn a state legislative ratification of a proposed federal constitutional amendment. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, saying that the people of the state were in effect acting as the state legislature for purposes of federal constitutional ratifications. That decision, however, was appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which unanimously took the opposite position; namely, that the voters of the state did not have the right to overturn the state legislature's approval of federal Prohibition.
| Ohio Referendum 1 (1919)|
|Overturned Case:Hawke v. Smith 253 U.S. 221 (1920)|
|Yes|| 499,971|| 49.98%|
Election results via: Ohio Secretary of State
Text of measure
The language that appeared on the ballot:
|| (By Referendum Petition)
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION No.4.
ADOPTED JANUARY 7, 1919, AND FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE JANUARY 22, 1919, RATIFYING THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PROPOSED BY THE 65th CONGRESS.
The said amendment ratified by the 83rd General Assembly of Ohio provides: "After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited."
Path to the ballot
The 18th Amendment of the United States Constitution, enacting federal prohibition on alcohol, was passed by the United States Congress in December of 1917 and sent to the states for ratification. On January 7, 1919, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 4, ratifying Amendment 18. The ratification was placed before the people via referendum petition.
- ↑ Ohio Secretary of State, "Amendment and Legislation: Proposed Constitutional Amendments, Initiated Legislation, and Laws Challenged by Referendum, Submitted to the Electors, (updated 1/24/13)"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Ohio History Central, "Hawke v. Smith"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Youngstown Vindicator, Paid Political Advertisement by Mahoning County Dry Federation, November 3, 1919
- ↑ Amendment XVIII, United States Constitution