Proposed Language:
Proposed Sovereignty Amendment to the Ohio Constitution
Be it resolved by the people of the state of Ohio,
ARTICLE (  ): SOVEREIGNTY; Duties, Powers and Authorities; Compliance and Accountability
Foundation of Sovereign Powers
Purposes and Intent of the Ohio Constitution
The Ohio Constitution represents the voice and will of the Citizens of Ohio for the establishment and operation of their state government. It constitutes the fundamental controlling instrument upon which all powers and authorities of the state are dependent, and without which the state shall not act. It secures and guarantees the individual Rights and Liberties for all people in Ohio, Citizen or not. It operates as the supreme binding agreement upon all public servants while in performance of their public duties and responsibilities. Its intentions are to secure said Rights and Liberties with minimal governmental interference in the exercise thereof, to mandate the state’s protection of said Rights and Liberties, and to mandate that Ohio government shall operate to assure the best interests of Ohio Citizens for their happiness and prosperity and shall have no interests of its own.
Sovereignty of Ohio Citizens
Ohio Citizens perpetually retain their individual and collective sovereignty over the state and their collective authority to alter or abolish government.
Sovereignty of the State
Ohio perpetually retains its sovereignty over the federal government. It is a principal duty of the state of Ohio to exercise all measures appropriate under the circumstances to protect the people in Ohio from all unconstitutional interference by the federal government or its agents.
General Duty of the State
The state of Ohio shall operate solely as a free and independent republic and within the Union of federated states comprising The United States of America, and its government shall faithfully, diligently, and prudently exercise all powers and authorities granted to it by this Constitution.
Fundamental Rights Defined
The fundamental Rights of every man and woman in Ohio are Life, Liberty, Property, the Pursuit of Happiness, and other Protections secured by this Constitution, which are common to all, absolute and necessary in the ordinary course of life and shall not be deprived, abrogated, or encumbered through any form of licensure, taxation, event, conduct, or legislation by the state or its political subdivisions. Nor shall such Rights be subject to or deprived by waiver. All fundamental Rights shall be equally administered and enforced, without prejudice or favoritism or regard to civic class or status.
State’s Authority Over Commerce
Preservation of the people's fundamental Rights shall not be construed to defeat the state’s delegated authority to regulate or extract excises on commerce conducted in pursuance of profit or gains, or matters of luxury or excess, as shall be defined by law.
Limitations on State Sovereignty
Powers and Authorities Restricted by Ohio Constitution
The state of Ohio shall have no powers or authorities, except by express provision in this Constitution, and such provisions shall be established solely upon the knowledgeable consent of Ohio Citizens at the polls. Ohio government shall not usurp any powers or authorities not specifically granted or authorized by this Constitution, nor shall it operate in any capacity of its own or contrary to the collective interests and benefit of Ohio Citizens, such interests and benefits within the scope of the Constitution.
Supremacy of Federal Constitution
Ohio shall support and comply with The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787, as amended and strictly construed, and federal laws compliant therewith.
Compacts, Contracts and Treaties
No public servant, agent, department, office, municipality, corporation or other person or entity, while acting in any public capacity on behalf of Ohio Citizens, shall enter into or participate in or benefit from any contracts, compacts, treaties, or other public or private agreements contrary to the provisions, purposes, or intent of this Constitution.
Preservation of Sovereignty
Establishment, Interpretation and Enforcement of Laws
Constitutional Compliancy of Laws
This Constitution is the supreme law for Ohio. No law, rule, regulation or other governing provision shall be enacted, established, enforced or otherwise implemented or applied contrary to the provisions, purposes, or intent of this Constitution, or that does not specifically identify the relevant authorizing provisions of this Constitution, or that does not clearly and succinctly identify with particularity its purposes and upon whom said provision shall operate, without ambiguity or open limitations. This Constitution and all laws, rules, regulations and other governing provisions within Ohio shall be interpreted and applied in favor of the people and against government.
Laws Subject to Constitutional Challenge
The constitutionality of every law, rule, regulation, or other governing provision of Ohio and its political subdivisions shall be subject to direct challenge through the Supreme Court of Ohio. Such challenges shall be granted without cause upon a showing of viable constitutional merit.
Limitation on Regulatory Laws
Regulatory laws may be established and enforced as reasonable and minimally necessary to protect the public’s actual health and safety, but only upon production of sufficient supporting evidence that clearly justifies such laws.
Limitation on Emergency Laws
Emergency provisions may only be established and enforced under extraordinary circumstances to protect the people in Ohio from a clear and present danger, and they must clearly define both said emergency and upon what reasonably obtainable conditions said emergency will cease. Ohio government shall work diligently to resolve all such emergencies and thereupon repeal the relevant emergency provisions.
Establishment of Official Dictionary
Whereas it is the responsibility of every Citizen to know and understand the law as it applies to them, it shall be the combined duty of the General Assembly and the Supreme Court of Ohio to compose and maintain an official dictionary for the clear and precise definition of all significant terms and phrases used in writing and interpreting the laws, rules, regulations and other governing provisions of Ohio. Said dictionary shall be made readily available to the people through the office of the Ohio Secretary of State. It shall be expressly identified and incorporated into the law by reference.
Suspension of Laws
Powers of Supreme Court of Ohio Pertaining to Unconstitutional Laws
The Supreme Court of Ohio shall have the power to suspend, abolish or vacate any law, rule, regulation or other governing provision in Ohio deemed by it to be unconstitutional. If any law, rule, regulation or other governing provision within Ohio is determined to be noncompliant with this Constitution, it shall be deemed null and void and without legal force or effect, from its beginning, and all powers and authorities of the state affected thereby shall immediately cease, by authority of this Constitution, until the constitutional deficiency has been resolved. Such determinations shall not be dependent upon any adversity created upon government or any public servant. The resulting decision and subsequent state actions and consequences shall be prominently noticed to the people by the said court. The Supreme Court of Ohio shall retain jurisdiction over such matters until resolved.
Jury Nullification
All juries shall be comprised only of Ohio Citizens, and in the course of serving in any criminal or civil action in an Ohio court, shall have the right to hear and determine both the facts and the law of the case. And, in the event the jury determines that the law presented or applied against the defendant shall serve to an unjust end, the jury shall have the absolute right, without objection or interference from the court, to suspend or nullify the law as applied in such case. Such determination shall require at least a three-fourths vote of the members of the jury in favor of nullification. The judicial or administrative officer in charge of the proceedings shall instruct the jury of its right of nullification of the law in every case before commencement of trial.
Citizen Nullification
The Citizens of Ohio shall forever retain their sovereign powers of initiative process to suspend, abolish or vacate any law, resolution, rule, regulation or other governing provision of Ohio or its political subdivisions.
Governmental Compliance and Accountability
Non-Tolerance of Governmental Misconduct
Ohio government shall not tolerate any misconduct by any public servant while in the performance of its public duties and responsibilities. Activities intentionally perpetrated by public servants in opposition to the provisions, purposes and intent of this Constitution shall be considered as High Crimes against the people and prosecuted as such by the Ohio Attorney General.
Recall of Public Officeholders
Ohio Citizens may execute recall procedures against any elected or appointed public officeholder, whenever they deem it necessary. Recall shall be executed by petition signed by electors of the relevant political subdivision. The recall process shall be perfected when a number of qualified signatures equal to or greater than that acquired to place the said public officeholder or his appointing official, as applicable, into office have been properly submitted and verified by the Ohio Secretary of State within 10 days of submittal. Immediately upon said verification, the Secretary of State shall notify the local Sheriff, who shall then Order, remove and bar said public officeholder from public office, by authority of the Ohio Citizens.
Filling Vacancies After Recall; Forfeiture of State Benefits
The vacancy created by recall of a public officeholder shall be filled as soon as practical by appointment from the Governor from candidates nominated by the Citizens of the relevant political subdivision. In the event that the Governor is recalled, the Lieutenant Governor shall fulfill the duties of the Governor. Any public officeholder recalled, or otherwise compelled from office as a result of unlawful behavior or gross negligence, shall be barred from all future service as a public servant in Ohio and shall forfeit all state benefits. Recall is final, without recourse or immunity from liability.
Immunity and Punishment Regarding Constitutional Violations
No public servant shall be immune from recall, prosecution or punishment for participation in activities perpetrated in violation of the provisions, purposes or intent of this Constitution. Said punishments shall be according to law and in proportion to the violation.
Duty of Public Servants; Violation of Oath
All public servants shall faithfully, diligently, and prudently perform their respective public duties and responsibilities, and they are required to answer all legitimate grievances and reasonable inquiries pertaining to the duties and performance of their respective offices, and shall faithfully produce such specific public records in their care, control or ready access as requested and appropriate. Those violating their oath to support this Constitution shall be subject to penalty, according to law.
Enforcement of the Ohio Constitution
Supreme Duty of Governor and Attorney General
It is hereby declared and established that the supreme duty and responsibility of the Governor and Attorney General of Ohio is to uphold and enforce the provisions, purposes, and intent of this Constitution and to ensure that all elements of government operate in compliance therewith.
Office and Authority of Sheriff Preserved
It is further established that the office of Sheriff shall be preserved by this Constitution as an integral part of the Ohio executive branch and ever remain a servant of and to the people in Ohio. The Sheriff’s principle duty shall be to support this Constitution and laws made in compliance therewith, and he shall have supreme governmental authority to enforce this Constitution within the county of his respective jurisdiction. Sheriffs may call into service Sheriffs of other counties and deputize Ohio Citizens for official service in times of emergency and other extraordinary circumstances to preserve or restore the peace and protect the people in Ohio.
Prohibition Against Federal and Foreign Agents
No enforcement action shall be exercised by any federal or foreign agency against the people in Ohio except through the county Sheriff and upon presentment of a valid judicial warrant, in which instance said Sheriff shall apprehend and deliver the accused to the appropriate authority at the county jail. The Sheriff may rely on assistance from relevant federal or foreign agents, at his sole discretion.
Protection of Fundamental Rights in the Courts
It is the duty of all judges, magistrates, commissioners and other similar officers, whether judicial or administrative, to preserve the people’s fundamental Rights, in the course of rendering their assessments, decisions, determinations, opinions, judgments and orders.
Right to Bear Arms Defined; Non-Infringement and Abuse of Right; Militia Preserved
To forever secure the sovereignty of the people and their ability to provide for or protect themselves, their property, their community and this state, the fundamental Right of the people to acquire, possess, carry, trade and utilize any manner of arms, weapon, personal armament and other devices and munitions designed for personal use, excluding all manner of explosives and biological or chemical systems, shall not be infringed, encumbered, prohibited nor abrogated except by due course of law and upon conviction of a High Crime involving assault with a deadly weapon. The Right of the people to assemble, exercise and maintain a peoples’ militia shall be likewise retained.
State to Encourage Personal Protection
The state shall encourage and promote the people’s free exercise of personal protection, preservation, preparedness and defense.
Sovereignty through Education
State to Encourage Beneficial Principles
To preserve and maintain sovereignty, the state shall encourage and promote that all schools in Ohio support the principles of good government and this Constitution, and of a moral and ethical society - nothing to the contrary. Said principles shall include, among others of similar beneficial interest, the following: (A) perpetuation of absolute truth in all things; (B) maintenance of a high moral and ethical standard; (C) sharing of compassion, charity and spirituality; (D) promotion of creativity, courage, and individual responsibility and health; (E) development of mechanical skills, mathematics, and personal dexterity; (F) the application of law and the mechanisms of good government; (G) the joy of community, peace and tranquility; (H) the importance of good character, integrity, and honor; (I) and the necessity of defense, preparedness, and preservation.
Control of Education at Local Level
Public educational curriculum and operations, except funding, for children through the twelfth grade shall be regulated solely at the local school district level.
Governmental Transparency
Ohio Citizens have the right to monitor, inspect and audit every function of Ohio government. All books, records and operations of Ohio government shall be open for public inspection and dissemination, under reasonable conditions, excepting such information violative to matters exclusively private in nature which have been established in law as inappropriate for public review. This provision shall not be construed to protect any party in suit, upon just cause, from discovery of material evidence of private matters on the public record.
Subversion of the Constitution
Preservation of individual and state sovereignty is of utmost concern to Ohio Citizens. Every attempt to subvert this Constitution, unless by open notice and deliberate action from the Citizens clearly stating their intent to reform or abolish this Constitution or Ohio government, shall be deemed an act of aggression against the Citizens of Ohio and is hereby strictly prohibited. Appropriate sanctions and penalties shall be enacted in law and brought against those so doing. Deliberate or substantial acts of subversion of this Constitution shall not be pardonable or otherwise absolved by the Governor.
Maintenance of Laws
Future Laws
All provisions of this Constitution and laws, rules, regulations, and other governing provisions of Ohio and its political subdivisions shall be created, interpreted, applied and enforced in compliance with this amendment.
Transformation of Existing Laws
Ohio and all its political subdivisions shall alter, amend, or repeal, as applicable and without undue delay, all existing laws, rules, regulations, and other governing provisions to fully comply with this amendment within four years from the effective date of this amendment. Priority shall be afforded to those laws and provisions that protect the Rights, Liberties, and principles of due process of and for the people. All existing laws and provisions shall remain enforceable during said 4-year period unless defeated upon meritorious constitutional challenge. Those failing to be reviewed or amended for constitutional compliancy within the said 4-year period are thereby repealed by operation of law. Influence by sources outside the established elements of Ohio government in fulfilling this mandate shall be strictly prohibited, except as may be offered in open public forum by the relevant controlling governmental element. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the state to provide the resources necessary to satisfy this provision.
This provision shall expire upon termination of said 4 year period.
Rev. 5.2 - (04/09/2010)