The Ohio Constitution—A Snapshot & the Plans for Ohio Constitution News

The current Ohio Constitution, the Constitution of 1851, is the sixth oldest in the country and the second oldest outside New England. States with older constitutions are: Massachusetts (1780). New Hampshire (1784), Vermont (1793), Maine (1819),and Wisconsin (1848). NOTE: Ohio voters approved the Constitution on June 17, 1851, and it became effective on September 1, 1851. The Indiana Constitution of 1851 was also adopted in 1851, but it did not become effective until November 1, 1851, two months after the Ohio Constitution.

With more than 60,000 words and more than 225 sections, the Ohio Constitution is the ninth longest in the nation and almost eight times longer than the amended United States Constitution.

Ohio voters have amended the 1851 Ohio Constitution 173 times. Since its adoption, the number of Articles in the Ohio Constitution has grown from sixteen to nineteen, and the number of sections has increased from 169 to more than 225. Of the 173 amendments, 119 were proposed by the General Assembly, 34 by the 1912 Constitutional Convention, and 20 by constitutional initiative.

Plans for Ohio Constitution News

Ohio Constitution News (see link) is a blog that complements the Ohio Constitutional Law and History website(see link). The website contains a wealth of information on the Ohio Constitution. The blog enables those interested in Ohio constitutional developments and history to subscribe for free and receive periodic postings. Instructions for signing up to receive the blog are on both the blog and the website. The website and the blog were developed by Dean Emeritus & Professor Emeritus Steven H. Steinglass and are maintained by the Law Librarians at the Cleveland State University College of Law.

Postings on Ohio Constitution News will cover the following:

  • New items added to the website, including information on new and pending cases in the Ohio courts and on proposed and approved constitutional amendments
  • Historic Developments about the 1802 Constitution. the 1851 Constitution, and the 1912 Constitutional Convention
  • The Ohio Bill of Rights and the New Judicial Federalism
  • Constitutional Stories—Amendments
  • Constitutional Stories––Court Decisions
  • State Constitutional Interpretation
  • Other Selected Topics
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