While I am glad that the Ohio voters rejected Issue 1 (and that it wasn’t close), I also think that it should be difficult for voters to change their State Constitutions. The current procedure in Ohio seems to me to be suboptimal—there is little to prevent a majority of Ohio voters from passing an amendment that runs roughshod over the rights of any minority faction. And there have evidently been 125 amendments! That seems like… a lot.
To be fair, almost all of those started in the legislature and passed by a supermajority there before being put to a vote. There have only been 19 amendments in the last century-and-a-bit that bypassed the legislature entirely. And of the legislative-initiated amendments, a lot of them seem to have been things that really should have been laws rather than constitutional amendments, but the Ohio constitution requires some stuff to be handled that way. So the current set-up, practically speaking, as far as I can tell, is more about making it more difficult to pass certain kinds of ordinary legislation rather than making it easier to fundamentally change the State Constitution. So perhaps making constitutional amendments even more difficult, without addressing that whole thing, would be a significant problem.
But: I think legislation should, almost always, be done by (or at the very least through) the legislature! A process that is very slow and frustrating, I know. And state legislatures are often very bad, which I also know. But the solution to that is to have better legislatures by voting in better legislators—and the other people in the state get to have different opinions about what ‘better’ means in both cases. There may well be a few things that are ‘so important’ that bypassing a stalled legislature is absolutely necessary, but the more often that happens, the more incentive legislators have to stall the legislature, because after all, anything really important can just be passed through an initiative. I believe that unless there is some clear and compelling reason why the legislature should not be involved in passing any particular law, if it can’t pass the legislature it shouldn’t become law some other way, even if it’s a good law.
Having said that—this election was really about preventing a majority-vote amendment preserving reproductive rights. Is that one of the things that should bypass the legislature? My own opinion is that reproductive rights fall in to the category of rights that should be protected against majority rule, and if that isn’t in the state constitution, it probably should be, and I’d vote to put it there. But I dislike the idea that a majority vote in a different year could take it out again.
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,