The Buckeye Institute’s Robert Alt to Legislators: Don’t Californicate Ohio’s Constitution

Apr 20, 2023

Columbus, OH – Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute, issued the following statement on Thursday:

“As The Buckeye Institute has argued time and time again over the years and well before any present controversies, Ohio simply must avoid the Californication of our state constitution.

“In order for constitutional republican government to succeed—no matter which party is in the majority at that time or whether a particular and timely issue is politically popular—our state must require supermajority approval before amending our Ohio constitution.

“If a constitution can be amended instead by simple majorities, it becomes an increasingly silly document with unserious amendments (like one that actually passed here in Ohio a few years ago to change the location of a casino) becoming the norm and other rights becoming fundamentally insecure and subject to changing whims.

“When I was in Iraq as a war correspondent nearly 20 years ago, I talked regularly with those who were rewriting the laws there about the foundational American principle of constitutionalism, and the need for supermajority requirements to protect the rights of the people. That same time-tested principle applies here today with Ohio’s constitution—and its amendment process—as it always has.

“There is no reason that any sensible Ohioan should oppose a higher barrier for amending our state’s constitution—the only folks who want a lower threshold have current special interests in mind at the expense of long-term damage to our enduring constitutional republican system of government.”

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