The Associated Press 3:01 PM Thursday, April 29, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a proposed amendment by groups seeking to exclude the state from President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul should appear as a single issue on the ballot.
The Thursday decision reverses a finding by the Ohio Ballot Board, which had split the issue proposed by the Ohio Liberty Council and others into two separate ballot measures.
The court says the board abused its discretion and disregarded state law and ordered it to certify the proposed amendment.
The Liberty Council tea party group wants voters to approve the Ohio constitutional amendment that would allow the state to opt out of the health care law signed in March.
If supporters get enough petition signatures, the issue would appear on the November ballot.
Read the Ohio Supreme Court decision here. Especially (fore-)telling is paragraph 30:
by Maurice A. Thompson
Director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law
A History Rooted in Limited Government
In May of 1850, 108 men from across the state gathered to rewrite Ohio’s original constitution, adopted in 1802. This conglomerate of 37 lawyers, 35 farmers, ten editors, eight merchants, seven medical doctors, and the remainder comprised of blacksmiths, surveyors, and millers, set out with a specific purpose: “keep the power in the hands of the legislature, and then tie its hands.”ii To do this, the delegates to the 1850-1851 constitutional convention authored constitutional provisions that left behind a “self-acting Constitution.”
The Ohio Constitution is special because it was passed in an era where the people of Ohio believed in individual rights and resented the authority that attempted to interfere with such rights,” and “had no use for any central authority.”iv This period in the state’s history has a familiar tenor: it coincided with the average citizen’s growing awareness of “the mad rush to rob the state treasury and heap up debts to be paid by generations yet unborn,”v and recognition that the legislature had become “the pliant tool of individual greed.”vi Much like today, this “mad rush” and “individual greed” involved bailouts and gifts to private corporations that claimed to be necessary to our way of life, particularly railroad and canal corporations.
In 1850, to put an end to such things, Ohioans called a constitutional convention.