The Home Rule Amendment to Ohio’s Constitution vest with municipalities the power to legislate on issues of most concern to that locality. Ideally, the concept of home rule creates shared powers between the state and the municipality. However, in Ohio, such is not the case. Instead, the state has almost complete control despite the home rule constitutional amendment. Although home rule is complicated historically and practically with many working parts between the legislature and the municipality, what is clear is that the courts play a substantial role in the doctrine’s application. The court’s role is difficulty considering the competing interests, but the ultimate goal should be to harmonize state and local law to allow flexibility, innovation, and to recognize the needs of one part of the state may be different than another. Despite this ultimate goal, Ohio courts have failed to promote the meaning of home rule and allowed the state to retain too much power, essentially removing the Home Rule Amendment. To restore the balance intended by the Ohio Constitution, it is critical the Ohio Supreme Court revise its interpretation of the Amendment to allow for harmony between the state and the municipalities.
Home Rule in Ohio: General Laws, Conflicts, and the Failure of the Courts to Protect the Ohio Constitution,
67 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol67/iss1/11