|I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI • XII • XIII • XIV • XV • XVI • XVII • XVIII • Schedule|
- 1 Features
- 2 Preamble
- 3 Article I: Bill of Rights
- 4 Article II: Legislative
- 5 Article III: Executive
- 6 Article IV: Judicial
- 7 Article V: Elective Franchise
- 8 Article VI: Education
- 9 Article VII: Public Institutions
- 10 Article VIII: Public Debt and Public Works
- 11 Article IX: Militia
- 12 Article X: County and Township Organizations
- 13 Article XI: Apportionment
- 14 Article XII: Finance and Taxation
- 15 Article XIII: Corporations
- 16 Article XIV: Agriculture
- 17 Article XV: Miscellaneous
- 18 Article XVI: Amendments
- 19 Article XVII: Elections
- 20 Article XVIII: Municipal Corporations
- 21 Schedule
- 22 Amending the constitution
- 23 History
- 24 See also
- 25 External links
- 26 Additional reading
- 27 References
The Ohio Constitution, ratified in 1851, set up the framework for state government. The document provided the rights for Ohio citizens and is the basic law of the state. This state constitution has the distinction of having one of the shortest preambles which includes just 28 words.
- See also: Preambles to state constitutions
The preamble to the Ohio Constitution states:
It is one of the shortest preambles of any U.S. state constitution.
Article I of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Bill of Rights" and consists of 23 sections. The Ohio Constitution's Bill of Rights is substantially similar to its federal counterpart but also includes the right to alter, reform or abolish government; rights of conscience and education; rights for victims of crime; a prohibition of imprisonment for debt; and the right to payment of damages for wrongful death.
Article II of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Legislature" and consists of 50 sections.
Article III of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Executive" and consists of 25 sections.
Article IV of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Judicial" and consists of 22 sections.
Article V of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Elective Franchise" and consists of ten sections.
Article VI of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Education" and consists of six sections.
Article VII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Public Institutions" and consists of three sections.
Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Public Debt and Public Works" and consists of 34 sections.
Article IX of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Militia" and consists of five sections.
Article X of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "County and Township Organizations" and consists of seven sections, three of which have been repealed.
Article XI of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Apportionment" and consists of 15 sections.
Article XII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Finance and Taxation" and consists of 13 sections.
Article XIII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Corporations" and consists of seven sections.
Article XIV of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Agriculture" and consists of 1 section.
Article XV of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous" and consists of 12 sections.
Article XVI of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Amendments" and consists of three sections.
Article XVII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Elections" and consists of three sections.
Article XVIII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Municipal Corporations" and consists of 14 sections.
The Schedule of the Ohio Constitution is follows 18 articles and a preamble.
Amending the constitution
The constitution lays out three different paths, in two different articles, for how to go about changing the state's constitution.
- Signatures equalling 10% of the number voting for governor in the most recent election are required to qualify an initiated constitutional amendment for the ballot.
- The constitution says that petitions must have printed on them the words “Amendment to the Constitution Proposed by Initiative Petition to be Submitted Directly to the Electors.”
The Ohio State Legislature can propose amendments, according to Article XVI, if 60% of both chambers agree to it. The Ohio Constitution includes some unusual constitutional-level provisions governing this process including:
- The constitution establishes the Ohio Ballot Board.
- Elections on amendments proposed by the legislature can take place on general election days or special election days.
- The Ohio Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over matters relating to legislatively-proposed amendments.
- Lawsuits against legislatively-proposed amendments for the most part cannot be filed within 64 days of the election.
Finally, Ohio can call a constitutional convention in two different ways:
- The Ohio State Legislature, if approved by a 2/3rds majority, can put a question on the ballot about whether to have convention.
- Every twenty years, starting in 1932, the question "Shall there be a convention to revise, alter, or amend the constitution[,]" is to automatically appear on the state's ballot. This 20-year cycle is invariant regardless of whether the state legislature also votes to put a similar question on the ballot from time to time.
Ohio achieved statehood in 1803. Prior to 1803, Ohio was part of the Northwest Territory, bound by Pennsylvania, Canada, the Ohio River and the Mississippi River. The Ordinance of 1787, enacted on July 13, 1787, divided the territory into "not less than three nor more than five States."
Ohio was eligible for statehood in 1802 after the population had grown to 60,000 persons. White male voters elected delegates to draft the constitution which was approved by Congress on February 19, 1803. At that time Ohio was admitted as the 17th state.
After 47 years, citizens of Ohio voted to hold a second constitutional convention. The growth of the state and inadequate government services were addressed and a second constitution was completed in 1851.
After 1851, four more conventions were held to reform the state constitution. Each revision placed more power in the hands of Ohio citizens. The changes also equalized the branches of government. The last convention was held in 1912.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Ohio Legislative Service Commission, "The Constitutional Framework of the Ohio State Government"
- Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Constitution Online"
- The Ohio Historical Society, "Ohio Fundamental Documents - Searchable Database"
- Scarselli, Gino J., and Steven H. Steinglass. (2004). The Ohio State Constitution: A Reference Guide, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing
- Ohio Secretary of State, "The Ohio constitution," accessed August 14, 2014
- Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Constitution Online," accessed March 30, 2014
- Ohio SOS, "The Historical Documents: The Ohio Constitution," accessed March 30, 2014
- CSU Ohio Law, "The Ohio Constitution: A Brief History," accessed March 30, 2014
- The Ohio House of Representatives, "History of the Ohio House of Representatives," accessed March 30, 2014
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