Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Ohio State Law Journal


constitutional revision, constitutional law, Ohio Constitution


This Article looks at state constitutional law in a single state—Ohio—and focuses on the history of constitutional revision in it. Consistent with the Symposium’s theme of popular constitutionalism, the Article reviews the expansion—albeit the slow expansion—of the groups that were permitted to participate in the political process in Ohio as well as the expansion and use of the tools available to those seeking constitutional change. As for the substantive constitutional changes that have taken place in Ohio, the Article reviews them summarily, primarily to put the topic of constitutional revision in context.

To understand constitutional revision in a single state, it is helpful to know what is happening in other states, and this Article places Ohio in a national context. But its primary purpose is to provide a clear review of the history of constitutional change in Ohio. And given its single-state focus as well as its attempt to provide a straightforward explanation of the development of the Ohio Constitution, it is hoped that this Article will be useful not simply to academics but also to all who are interested in the Ohio Constitution, in how it has evolved, and in how change is likely to take place in the future.

The writing of the history of the constitution of a single state is a daunting task, and the full story cannot be told without an examination of the social, economic, and political currents of the day. And the history of the constitution of any state cannot be undertaken without a review of the role of the courts. These are projects for another day. Instead, this Article focuses more narrowly on the expansion of the players in constitutional revision, on the expanding toolkit for constitutional revision in Ohio and on the uses to which the tools, including state constitutional revision commissions, have been put.


Symposium: State Constitutions in the United States Federal System
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (March 6, 2015)