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Abstract

There are a number of tentative conclusions that may be reached based on this selective analysis of the Ohio Supreme Court's first decade of experience with the New Judicial Federalism. First, the court is to be commended for taking the first steps toward recognizing the Ohio Constitution as a document of independent political and legal force. The Arnold decision, together with the others discussed in this article, serve to alert the lower bench, the bar, the media, and students and professors to the potential contained within state constitutions. Next, to the extent that there is inconsistency to be detected in the Ohio Supreme Court's approach to the NJF, this has been true as well in most other states. State courts are now confronting major constitutional litigation in controversial cases. The NJF is still relatively new in Ohio. It is very far from being "settled. '' The bar and legal educators have a responsibility to engage in teaching and analysis concerning state constitutional law, and not just in the area of rights protections. Oregon Justice Hans A. Linde said that in order "to make an independent argument under the state clause [it] takes homework-in texts, in history, in alternative approaches to analysis." This Symposium will go a long way toward meeting that challenge.

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Symposium: The Ohio Constitution - Then and Now: An Examination of the Law and History of the Ohio Constitution on the Occasion of Its Bicentennial