I have received a number of questions about the Coronavirus and Liberty in regards to what happened in Ohio. The primary question being: Is the cancelation of the Ohio election an Ohio Constitutional Crisis? The simple answer is No.
Not by the March 16th, 2020 actions of Governor DeWine.
The actual Constitutional Crisis was Amending the State Constitution in 1960. There is more that has diminished the Constitution of Ohio through Amendment which I will discuss on next weeks program.
How Governor DeWines lawful actions absolutely does affect Liberty, which is a longer discussion that I will have to cover in next Saturday’s Program as well..
Ohio Constitutional Crisis?
I can give you a resounding NO as an answer to this question. The Ohio Constitution does address the Governor’s action. It is spelled out the authority in an Amendment, which the is made law in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 161. This 1963 law is the result of amending the Constitution.
As I detailed in the References at the end of this post, the Ohio Constitution was Amended in 1960. This Amendment is the Constitutional provision and authority for Chapter 161 of Law in the Ohio Revised Code.
I know, few Ohioans have looked at the State Constitution let alone read it. What is clear, when referencing the State or even the Federal Constitution, is that it is most important that we look at the complete wording and the historical context of where Constitutions are amended. Look at the dates of the Amendments! Consider the times and more so, did the average Citizen have a clue as to what was or… for the future… what might be the issues that would forever be encased in the governing language of a Constitution?
For instance when considering Chapter 161: EMERGENCY INTERIM GOVERNMENT of the ORC’s , which deals with what is an emergency and what powers are given to the political and bureaucratic entities. The Citizen must clearly understand that in 1963 this section of the ORC fundamentally establishes great powers given to those entities. Why would the Legislature of that period act in such a manner? What was going on that the Citizens would allow for this at that time? More importantly, WHY have the present Patriots of the the 2009 era not challenged these laws and amendments that can lead to despotism?
Without any answers forthcoming we have to live with:
Section 161.01 EMERGENCY INTERIM GOVERNMENT DEFINITIONS section (D) states:
“(D) “Attack” means any attack or series of attacks by an enemy of the United States causing, or which may cause, substantial damage or injury to civilian property or persons in the state in any manner by sabotage or by the use of bombs, missiles, shellfire, or atomic, radiological, chemical, bacteriological, or biological means or other weapons or processes.” (emphasis added)
In particular, Section 161.09 POSTPONING ELECTIONS states:
“In the event of an emergency resulting from enemy attack, the governor, his successor, or interim successor, shall, when in his judgment the public interest requires, postpone any state or local election for a period not exceeding six months. When, because of conditions resulting from an enemy attack, a scheduled election is not held or scheduled appointments cannot be made, the elected or appointed incumbents of affected offices, or their emergency interim successors, shall continue to hold office until their successors are elected or appointed and duly qualified.”
ORC Chapter 161 is the simple answer as to why Gov. DeWine acted as he legally could.
For the nay-sayers, It is all Constitutional.
Although acting legally, the Governor, his Administration and the Secretary of State acted foolishly.
The gist of this is that that they waited, literally, to the last minutes to Postpone the election. The citizens should have been better informed.
The first act of foolishness was in effect proroguing (dismissing, put off or delaying) the Legislature. How is this? By following the CDC guidelines reducing the number of persons able to meet, initially to 100 then to 10. The Legislature used this as an excuse to get out of Columbus. Ha, you thought I was going to say Dodge. Therefore, the Governor fundamentally prorogued the Legislature even if we concede it was self-actuated.
The action of Postponing the election could have been handled like Louisiana which acted about a week prior to March 17th. So too, Ohio could have acted and communicated earlier so that all Citizens were better informed and the Rule of Law better explained, i.e. Section 161.09 of the ORC.
Is Liberty affected? A resounding YES is the answer. The issues are several but the point not being spoken of clearly is what President Trump said in a White House update yesterday, to the effect, we are at war and he considers himself a war time President.
We are seeing a number of ‘War Powers’ being enacted. Therefore, the Governor of Ohio or for that matter any Governor should be communicating that they are all acting as War Time Governors.
Since Governor DeWine is acting according to Chapter 161 of the ORCs then he should be communicating through all modes to every Citizen. He must identify as a ‘War Time Governor.’
Many Ohio Citizens live in rural areas. They do not have access to or have given up cable TV, they cannot get digital TV nor any radio that has news talk – better communications of critical decisions should be looked into. Gee, their State Representatives and Senators should be directly engaged with their constituents in critical times as this type of decision mandates.
1. Boston 1721 Smallpox Epidemic Special-edition-on-infectious-disease – Harvard University: Science In The News
2. George Washington Inoculates Troops for Smallpox – 1775–1782 North American smallpox epidemic, Wikipedia.org
Ohio Constitution – Online or Downloadable pdf
3. Ohio Constitution Article I. §18 Suspension of Laws.
4. Ohio Constitution Article I. §20 Powers Reserved To The People.
5. Ohio Constitution Article II. §1 In Whom Power Vested.
6. Ohio Constitution Article II. §1d Emergency Laws; Not Subject To Referendum.
7. Ohio Constitution Article II. §34 Welfare Of Employees
8. Ohio Constitution Article II. §42 Continuity Of Government Operations In Emergencies Caused By Enemy Attack. ** very important section giving the legislature the authority to enact and codify ORC 161.
9. Ohio Constitution Article III. §6 Governor To See That Laws Executed; May Require Written Information.
10. Ohio Constitution Article III. §9 When Governor May Adjourn The Legislature.
11. Ohio Constitution Article III. §10 Governor Is Commander-In-Chief Of Militia.
12. Ohio Revised Code; Title 1, Chapter 161: EMERGENCY INTERIM GOVERNMENT