News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Updated Ohio Constitution Guide



Looking for information on the Ohio Constitution and current constitutional issues? Check out the Ohio Constitution – Law and History Guide, which has recently been updated. This research guide includes references to primary and secondary sources, information on Ohio’s previous constitutions and conventions, tables tracking proposed amendments, suggested resources by topic, and more.

The Court Decisions tab features brief summaries of Ohio Supreme Court opinions weighing in on constitutional law issues, now including very recent 2016 opinions. The research guide also features information on pending cases, and links to the Supreme Court’s docket and video recordings of oral arguments.

A new table was just added to track Proposed Bills and Resolutions that amend the Constitution and are currently before the Ohio Legislature. If you are looking for proposed amendments decided by Ohio voters, those can still be found under the Table of Proposed Amendments and Votes.

Another source for current constitutional issues is the Ohio Constitution News blog, operated in conjunction with the research guide.

Keep in mind that proposed amendments and constitutional revisions can be good fodder for upper level research papers.

Accessing Federal Executive, Legislative and Regulatory Information

obamaKeeping to our theme of “Sunshine Week”, this post will focus on getting federal executive, legislative and regulatory information.

The Public Papers of the President is your one stop shop for recent Presidential information going back to the Presidency of Ronald Regan. The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) began publishing the Public Papers of the Presidents series in 1957 as an official publication of United States Presidents’ public writings, addresses, and remarks (1 CFR 10). For legal researchers, Presidential Executive Orders would be of most interest.

Each Public Papers volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period. The material is presented in chronological order, and the dates shown in the headings are the dates of the documents or events. In instances when the release date differs from the date of the document itself, that fact is shown in the textnote.

Federal Regulations can be found on the eCFR website, which is usually current to within the last few days. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition contains the final versions of the CFR for each year going back to 1996. The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations (as well as executive orders and other presidential documents). is your one stop shopping for everything related to the US Congress including bills, resolutions, public laws, the US code, and the Congressional Record.

Ohio Channel: Free Access to Statehouse Debates (and more!)


ohio channelHave you already binge-watched all of your favorite shows? Are you curious about the proceedings in the Ohio House and Senate? If so, then visit The Ohio Channel.

The Ohio Channel is a free online service provided by Ohio’s public broadcasting stations. This website features an archive of video recordings of proceedings in the House and Senate dating back to July 1996. The Ohio Channel also includes recordings of the Ohio Supreme Court dating back to February 1996. All recorded sessions are unedited and free of commentary. Many recordings also include a transcript. For example, if you are working on a legislative history project and looking for the debates on a bill that moved through the legislature sometime between 1996 and today, this is a great free resource. In addition to the video archive, the Ohio Channel also provides live streaming of House, Senate, and Supreme Court sessions.

Other PBS programming is also available on the website, including All Sides with Ann Fisher, The Sound of Ideas, forums, press conferences, public addresses, and more. (Sorry, popcorn not included)

Ohio Legislative History – What’s Available When?

Finding state legislative history documents can be notoriously tricky, and the older the piece of legislation is that you’re researching, the more difficult the task becomes. This chart shows you when various Ohio legislative history items became readily available. For detailed information on researching all aspects of Ohio legislative history, see Ohio Primary Law Research Guide: Legislative History.

1997 & later The General Assembly’s web page made available video of hearing and debates, bills, Legislative Service Commission (LSC) analysis, and Fiscal notes
1989 Hannah (Ohio) Capitol Connection materials are available from 1989 on.  These include hearing summaries, Governor’s veto messages and Hannah Reports, bills, LSC analysis and Fiscal notes.
1988 Hannah reports
1961 LSC analysis on microfilm
1957 LSC staff research reports
1953 One paragraph LSC analysis by calling the LSC.

Summary of Enactments.

1949 Bill files at Ohio Historical Society
1888 Bills on Microfilm
1803 Session laws, House & Senate Journals

The History and the Future of the Ohio Constitution

steinglass_329Dean Emeritus Steven Steinglass, who is senior policy advisor for the bipartisan Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission will discuss the history of constitutional revision in Ohio, and the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission’s current efforts to revise the constitution on a wide range of issues, including congressional redistricting, term limits, privacy, voting, the initiative/referendum, and education.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday 03/04/2015 – from 5:00pm – 6:00pm in the Moot Court room and is free and open to the public. One hour of Ohio CLE credit is available.

For additional information on the topic, be sure to take a look at our Ohio Constitution – Law and History Research Guide which was created by Dean Steinglass and librarian Sue Altmeyer. The guide and the lecture are good places for current students to get law review paper topic ideas for next fall!