Brett Altier


Whether in the case of predatory lending or other issues that will differ from location to location, municipalities should continue to protect their cities by exercising their power under the Home Rule Amendment to enforce regulations not in direct conflict with Ohio law. Even though the Framers of the Home Rule Amendment intended to protect municipal power by ensuring that only those ordinances in actual conflict would be voided, Ohio courts have denied municipalities their Home Rule police power by applying a conflict by implication test, contributing to the housing crisis still plaguing Ohio's cities. While Ohio courts have made clear that it is not the position of the judiciary to consider policy, courts can follow the lead of other jurisdictions that consider the totality of the circumstances when determining whether state regulation constitutes a general law. Also, beyond following the intent of the Framers, Ohio courts should apply a direct conflict analysis to better capture local variables and needs, especially when matters have a disproportionate effect on certain communities. By following these proposed modifications a municipality will have better control over its own future as the Framers intended. In turn, the increased consistency from the courts would stimulate both the General Assembly and city councils to enact improved legislation.