Difference between revisions of "Ohio Constitution"

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{{OHConstitution}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Ohio Constitution''' is a [[state constitution]] and the basic governing document of the State of [[Ohio]], which in 1803 became the 17th state to join the United States of America.  Ohio has had four constitutions since statehood was granted.
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{{OHConstitution}}{{tnr}}The '''Ohio Constitution''' is the basic governing document of the state of [[Ohio]].  
  
Ohio was created from the easternmost portion of the Northwest Territory.  In 1787, the [[Wikipedia:Congress of the Confederation|Congress of the Confederation]] of the United States passed the Northwest Ordinance, establishing a territorial government and providing that "[t]here shall be formed in the said territory, not less than three nor more than five states."  The Ordinance prohibited slavery and provided for freedom of worship, the right of ''habeas corpus'' and trial by jury, and the right to make bail except for capital offenses.  Ohio courts have noted that the Northwest Ordinance "was ever considered as the fundamental law of the territory."  ''Ludlow's Heirs v. Johnston'' (1828), 3 Ohio 553, 555; ''State v. Bob Manashian Painting'' (2002), 121 Ohio Misc.2d 99, 103.
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==Features==
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The Ohio Constitution of 1851 sets the framework for state government and provides rights for the people of Ohio. With numerous later amendments, the 1851/1912 Constitution remains the basic law of the state. It has one of the shortest preambles of any state constitution:
  
==1802 Constitution==
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We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our general welfare, do establish this Constitution.
The Ohio territory's population grew steadily in the 1790s and early 1800s.  Congress passed an enabling bill to establish a new state, which President Thomas Jefferson signed into law on April 30, 1802.  A state constitutional convention was held in November 1802 in Chillicothe, Ohio, and it adopted what became known as the 1802 Constitution.  Largely due to the perception that territorial governor Arthur St. Clair had ruled heavy-handedly, the constitution provided for a "weak" governor and judiciary, and vested virtually all power in a bicameral [[legislature]], known as the General Assembly. Congress simply recognized the existence of the "state of Ohio" rather than passing a separate resolution declaring Ohio a state as it had done and would do with other new states. On February 19, 1803, President Jefferson signed the bill into law.  It provided that Ohio "had become one of the United States of America," and that Federal law "shall have the same force and effect within the said State of Ohio, as elsewhere within the United States.
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The first General Assembly first met in Chillicothe, the new state capital, on March 1, 1803.  This has come to be considered the date of Ohio statehood.
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==[[Preamble, Ohio Constitution|Preamble]]==
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: ''See also: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
  
==1851 Constitution==
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The preamble to the Ohio Constitution states:
By law, Ohio voters are asked every twenty years whether a new constitutional convention should be called.  In the early decades of statehood, it became clear that the General Assembly was disproportionately powerful as compared to the executive and judicial branches.  Much of state business was conducted through private bills, and partisan squabbling greatly reduced the ability of state government to do its work.  The legislature widely came to be perceived as corrupt, subsidizing private companies and granting special privileges in corporate charters.  State debt also exploded between 1825 and 1840.  A new constitution, greatly redressing the checks and balances of power, was drafted by a convention in 1850-51, as directed by the voters, and subsequently adopted in a statewide [[referendum]] on June 17, 1851, taking effect on September 1 of that year.  This is the same constitution under which the state of Ohio operates.  The later "constitutions" were viewed as such, but in reality were large scale revisions.
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A constitutional convention in 1873, chaired by future Chief Justice of the United States [[Judgepedia:Morrison R. Waite|Morrison R. Waite]], proposed a new constitution that would have provided for annual sessions of the legislature, a veto for the governor which could be overridden by a three-fifths vote of each house, establishment of state circuit courts, eligibility of women for election to school boards, and restrictions on municipal debt. It was soundly defeated by the voters in August 1873.
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|-
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| <center>''We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare, do establish this Constitution.''<ref name="oh">[http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/constitution.cfm ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Constitution Online," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref></center>
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|}
  
==1912 Constitution==
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It is one of the shortest preambles of any U.S. state constitution.<ref>[https://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/historicaldocuments/theohioconstitution.aspx ''Ohio SOS'', "The Historical Documents: The Ohio Constitution," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref>
In the Progressive Era, pent-up demand for reform led to the convening of another constitutional convention in 1912. The delegates were generally progressive in their outlook, and noted Ohio historian George W. Knepper wrote,  "It was perhaps the ablest group ever assembled in Ohio to consider state affairs."  Several national leaders addressed the convention, including President William Howard Taft, an Ohioan; former president (and Bull Moose Party candidate) Theodore Roosevelt; three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan; [[California]]'s progressive governor Hiram Johnson; and Ohio's own reform-minded governor, Judson Harmon.
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Recalling how the 1873 convention's work had all been for naught, the 1912 convention drafted and submitted to the voters a series of amendments to the 1851 Constitution. The amendments expanded the state's bill of rights, provided for voter-led [[initiative and referendum]], established civil service protections, and granted the governor a line-item veto in appropriation bills.  Other amendments empowered the legislature to fix the hours of labor, establish a minimum wage and a workers compensation system, and address a number of other progressive measures.  A home rule amendment was proposed for Ohio cities with populations over 5,000.  
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==[[Article I, Ohio Constitution|Article I: Bill of Rights]]==
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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.
  
On September 3, 1912, despite strong conservative opposition, voters adopted 33 of the 41 proposed amendments.  It was so sweeping a change to the 1851 Constitution that most legal scholars consider it to have become a new "1912 Constitution." Among the eight losing proposed amendments were female suffrage, the use of voting machines, the regulation of outdoor advertising and abolition of the death penalty.  Voters also rejected a proposal to strike the word "white" from the 1851 Constitution's definition of voter eligibility.  Although blacks could vote in Federal elections in Ohio due to the Fifteenth Amendment, the color bar for voting in state elections was not abolished until 1923.
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==[[Article II, Ohio Constitution|Article II: Legislative]]==
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Article II of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Legislature" and consists of 50 sections.  
  
==1951 Constitution==
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==[[Article III, Ohio Constitution|Article III: Executive]]==
With the tremendous growth of the state's population, and the strains and exigencies of the Great Depression and both World War I and World War II, it became clear that the 1912 Constitution was inadequate to the needs of a modern state government. A fifth constitutional convention drafted a new constitution, which was duly adopted by state voters, taking effect on September 1, 1951.  With numerous later amendments, the 1951 Constitution remains the basic law of the state to this day.  It has one of the shortest [[Preambles to state constitutions|preamble]]s of any state constitution:
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Article III of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Executive" and consists of 25 sections.  
  
''We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our general welfare, do establish this Constitution.''
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==[[Article IV, Ohio Constitution|Article IV: Judicial]]==
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Article IV of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Judicial" and consists of 22 sections.  
  
==Current version==
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==[[Article V, Ohio Constitution|Article V: Elective Franchise]]==
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Article V of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Elective Franchise" and consists of ten sections.
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==[[Article VI, Ohio Constitution|Article VI: Education]]==
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Article VI of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Education" and consists of six sections.
  
The current state constitution contains the following articles:
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==[[Article VII, Ohio Constitution|Article VII: Public Institutions]]==
* [[Preamble, Ohio Constitution|Preamble]]
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Article VII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Public Institutions" and consists of three sections.  
* [[Article I, Ohio Constitution|Art. I - Bill of Rights]]
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* [[Article II, Ohio Constitution|Art. II - Legislative]]
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* [[Article III, Ohio Constitution|Art. III - Executive]]
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* [[Article IV, Ohio Constitution|Art. IV - Judicial]]
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* [[Article V, Ohio Constitution|Art. V - Elective Franchise]]
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* [[Article VI, Ohio Constitution|Art. VI - Education]]
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* [[Article VII, Ohio Constitution|Art. VII - Public Institutions]]
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* [[Article VIII, Ohio Constitution|Art. VIII - Public Debt and Public Works]]
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* [[Article IX, Ohio Constitution|Art. IX - Militia]]
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* [[Article X, Ohio Constitution|Art. X - County and Township Organizations]]
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* [[Article XI, Ohio Constitution|Art. XI - Apportionment]]
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* [[Article XII, Ohio Constitution|Art. XII - Finance and Taxation]]
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* [[Article XIII, Ohio Constitution|Art. XIII - Corporations]]
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* [[Article XIV, Ohio Constitution|Art. XIV - Jurisprudence]] (repealed)
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* [[Article XV, Ohio Constitution|Art. XV - Miscellaneous]]
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* [[Article XVI, Ohio Constitution|Art. XVI - Constitutional Amendment]]
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* [[Article XVII, Ohio Constitution|Art. XVII - Elections]]
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* [[Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution|Art. XVIII - Municipal Corporations]]
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* [[Schedule, Ohio Constitution|Schedule]]
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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.
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==[[Article VIII, Ohio Constitution|Article VIII: Public Debt and Public Works]]==
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Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Public Debt and Public Works" and consists of 34 sections.  
  
In 1995 Article 5.8 was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in ''[[U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton]]''. (It had imposed term limits on federal representatives and senators.)
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==[[Article IX, Ohio Constitution|Article IX: Militia]]==
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Article IX of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Militia" and consists of five sections.
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==[[Article X, Ohio Constitution|Article X: County and Township Organizations]]==
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Article X of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "County and Township Organizations" and consists of seven sections, three of which have been repealed.  
  
==Amending the constitution==
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==[[Article XI, Ohio Constitution|Article XI: Apportionment]]==
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Article XI of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Apportionment" and consists of 15 sections.
  
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==[[Article XII, Ohio Constitution|Article XII: Finance and Taxation]]==
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Article XII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Finance and Taxation" and consists of 13 sections.
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==[[Article XIII, Ohio Constitution|Article XIII: Corporations]]==
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Article XIII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Corporations" and consists of seven sections.
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==[[Article XIV, Ohio Constitution|Article XIV: Agriculture]]==
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Article XIV of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Agriculture" and consists of 1 section.
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==[[Article XV, Ohio Constitution|Article XV: Miscellaneous]]==
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Article XV of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous" and consists of 12 sections.
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==[[Article XVI, Ohio Constitution|Article XVI: Amendments]]==
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Article XVI of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Amendments" and consists of three sections.
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==[[Article XVII, Ohio Constitution|Article XVII: Elections]]==
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Article XVII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Elections" and consists of three sections.
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==[[Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution|Article XVIII: Municipal Corporations]]==
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Article XVIII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Municipal Corporations" and consists of 14 sections.
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==[[Schedule, Ohio Constitution|Schedule]]==
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The Schedule of the Ohio Constitution is follows 18 articles and a preamble.
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==Amending the constitution==
 
:: ''See also: [[Article II, Ohio Constitution#Section 1a|Section 1a, Article II, Ohio Constitution]] and [[Article XVI, Ohio Constitution]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Article II, Ohio Constitution#Section 1a|Section 1a, Article II, Ohio Constitution]] and [[Article XVI, Ohio Constitution]]''
  
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* The [[Ohio State Legislature]], if approved by a 2/3rds majority, can put a question on the ballot about whether to have convention.
 
* 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 [[automatic ballot referral|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.
 
* Every twenty years, starting in 1932, the question "Shall there be a convention to revise, alter, or amend the constitution[,]" is to [[automatic ballot referral|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.
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==History==
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Before Ohio achieved statehood in 1803, it was part of the Northwest Territory, the area bounded on the east by [[Pennsylvania]], on the south by the [[Ohio]] River, on the west by the [[Mississippi]] River, and on the north by Canada. On July 13, 1787, [[Congress]] enacted the Northwest Ordinance, also known as the Ordinance of 1787, to establish a government for the Northwest Territory and eventually to divide that area into "not less than three nor more than five States."  On April 30, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed into law an enabling act that authorized “the inhabitants of the eastern division of the territory northwest of the river Ohio” to initiate the procedures necessary to be admitted to the Union as a state.<ref name="law">[https://www.law.csuohio.edu/sites/default/files/lawlibrary/ohioconlaw/pdf22.pdf ''CSU Ohio Law'', "The Ohio Constitution: A Brief History," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref>
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Eligibility for statehood came in 1802, when the population reached 60,000 persons. Male voters elected delegates to a [[constitutional convention]]. The delegates drafted the constitution on which our state government is based. On February 19, 1803, Congress approved the constitution and admitted Ohio as the 17th state. The constitution called for a bicameral legislature, similar to the federal model, consisting of a [[Ohio House of Representatives|House of Representatives]] and [[Ohio Senate|Senate]].<ref name="oh house">[http://www.ohiohouse.gov/education/ohio-house-history ''The Ohio House of Representatives'', "History of the Ohio House of Representatives," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref>
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In 1850, the people of Ohio voted to hold a second constitutional convention. Rapid population growth, an inadequate judicial system, legislative power, tax reform and flexibility were some of the issues that were addressed. Ohio's second constitution was completed in 1851.<ref name="oh house"/>
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Two more constitutional conventions were held to construct today's government. Each one placed more legislative power in the hand of the voters. The conventions also helped equalize the branches of government, giving the governor veto power at the third constitutional convention in 1873. The fourth and final convention was held in 1912.<ref name="law"/>
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==See also==
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[[File:StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg|right|175px]]
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* [[State constitution]]
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* [[Constitutional article]]
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* [[Constitutional amendment]]
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* [[Constitutional revision]]
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* [[Constitutional convention]]
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* [[Amendment|Amendments]]
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** [[Initiated constitutional amendment]]
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** [[Legislatively-referred constitutional amendment]]
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** [[Publication requirements for proposed state constitutional amendments]]
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** [[Rules about constitutional conventions in state constitutions]]
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** [[State constitutional articles governing state legislatures]]
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
{{wikipedia}}
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{{submit a link}}
* Ohio's [[Ohio Secretary of State|Secretary of State]] is the custodian of amendments to the Ohio constitution (see Art. XVI, § 1 and O.R.C. § 3501.05 and § 111.08), and maintains an online [http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/constitution.cfm copy].
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*[http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/guidebook/chapter1.pdf ''Ohio Legislative Service Commission'', "The Constitutional Framework of the Ohio State Government"]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=mQQ_eD1C2CsC Ohio State Constitution]
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*[http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/constitution.cfm ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Constitution Online"]
* The original constitution documents are held by the Ohio Historical Society, as mandated by Ohio's General Assembly (O.R.C. § 111.08).  The OHS has online [http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/database/funddocs.html copies] of the originals' text.
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*[http://ww2.ohiohistory.org/resource/database/funddocs.html ''The Ohio Historical Society'', "Ohio Fundamental Documents - Searchable Database"]
* Ohio's legislature also maintains an online [http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/constitution.cfm copy] of the constitution.
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*Ohio Sate Constitutions [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ohio_State_Constitution]
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==Additional reading==
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* [http://books.google.com/books?id=mQQ_eD1C2CsC Scarselli, Gino J., and Steven H. Steinglass. (2004). ''The Ohio State Constitution: A Reference Guide'', Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing]
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
 
{{Ohio Constitution}}
 
{{Ohio Constitution}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{ohio}}
 
{{ohio}}

Revision as of 14:00, 4 April 2014

Ohio Constitution
Seal of Ohio.svg.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIISchedule
The Ohio Constitution is the basic governing document of the state of Ohio.

Features

The Ohio Constitution of 1851 sets the framework for state government and provides rights for the people of Ohio. With numerous later amendments, the 1851/1912 Constitution remains the basic law of the state. It has one of the shortest preambles of any state constitution:

We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our general welfare, do establish this Constitution.

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the Ohio Constitution states:

We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare, do establish this Constitution.[1]

It is one of the shortest preambles of any U.S. state constitution.[2]

Article I: Bill of Rights

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: Legislative

Article II of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Legislature" and consists of 50 sections.

Article III: Executive

Article III of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Executive" and consists of 25 sections.

Article IV: Judicial

Article IV of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Judicial" and consists of 22 sections.

Article V: Elective Franchise

Article V of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Elective Franchise" and consists of ten sections.

Article VI: Education

Article VI of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Education" and consists of six sections.

Article VII: Public Institutions

Article VII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Public Institutions" and consists of three sections.

Article VIII: Public Debt and Public Works

Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Public Debt and Public Works" and consists of 34 sections.

Article IX: Militia

Article IX of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Militia" and consists of five sections.

Article X: County and Township Organizations

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: Apportionment

Article XI of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Apportionment" and consists of 15 sections.

Article XII: Finance and Taxation

Article XII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Finance and Taxation" and consists of 13 sections.

Article XIII: Corporations

Article XIII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Corporations" and consists of seven sections.

Article XIV: Agriculture

Article XIV of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Agriculture" and consists of 1 section.

Article XV: Miscellaneous

Article XV of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous" and consists of 12 sections.

Article XVI: Amendments

Article XVI of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Amendments" and consists of three sections.

Article XVII: Elections

Article XVII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Elections" and consists of three sections.

Article XVIII: Municipal Corporations

Article XVIII of the Ohio Constitution is entitled "Municipal Corporations" and consists of 14 sections.

Schedule

The Schedule of the Ohio Constitution is follows 18 articles and a preamble.

Amending the constitution

See also: Section 1a, Article II, Ohio Constitution and Article XVI, Ohio Constitution

The constitution lays out three different paths, in two different articles, for how to go about changing the state's constitution.

Section 1a of Article II defines the right of citizens to use initiated constitutional amendments.

  • 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.

History

Before Ohio achieved statehood in 1803, it was part of the Northwest Territory, the area bounded on the east by Pennsylvania, on the south by the Ohio River, on the west by the Mississippi River, and on the north by Canada. On July 13, 1787, Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinance, also known as the Ordinance of 1787, to establish a government for the Northwest Territory and eventually to divide that area into "not less than three nor more than five States." On April 30, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed into law an enabling act that authorized “the inhabitants of the eastern division of the territory northwest of the river Ohio” to initiate the procedures necessary to be admitted to the Union as a state.[3]

Eligibility for statehood came in 1802, when the population reached 60,000 persons. Male voters elected delegates to a constitutional convention. The delegates drafted the constitution on which our state government is based. On February 19, 1803, Congress approved the constitution and admitted Ohio as the 17th state. The constitution called for a bicameral legislature, similar to the federal model, consisting of a House of Representatives and Senate.[4]

In 1850, the people of Ohio voted to hold a second constitutional convention. Rapid population growth, an inadequate judicial system, legislative power, tax reform and flexibility were some of the issues that were addressed. Ohio's second constitution was completed in 1851.[4]

Two more constitutional conventions were held to construct today's government. Each one placed more legislative power in the hand of the voters. The conventions also helped equalize the branches of government, giving the governor veto power at the third constitutional convention in 1873. The fourth and final convention was held in 1912.[3]

See also

StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg

External links

BallotpediaAvatar bigger.png
Suggest a link

Additional reading

References