RESPONDENT:Harvey Smith, Ohio Secretary of State
DOCKET NO.: 582
DECIDED BY: White Court (1916-1921)
ARGUED: Apr 23, 1920
DECIDED: Jun 01, 1920
Facts of the case
The Ohio General Assembly ratified the Eighteenth Amendment in January 1919, and was one of the thirty-six states that did so. The Ohio Constitution, in a 1918 amendment, provided that amendments to the United States Constitution would be subject to a statewide referendum after ratification by the General Assembly. Consistent with this requirement, the Ohio Secretary of State, Harvey Smith, began to print and issue ballots for the referendum. George Hawke challenged the validity of amendment to the Ohio Constitution and sought to have Smith stop the issuing of ballots. He alleged that the Ohio amendment conflicted with Article Five of the United States Constitution, which specified that amendments would be ratified by state legislatures. The Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County ruled against him. This decision was upheld by the Court of Appeals of Franklin County and the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Did Ohio’s 1918 amendment providing that amendments to the United States Constitution should be subject to a referendum conflict with Article Five of the United States Constitution?