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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ohio Supreme Court Rules That Youngstown Fracking Ban Will Go to Vote for Fifth Time

From the Youngstown Vindicator:
The Ohio Supreme Court agreed with Youngstown that the Mahoning County Board of Elections lacks authority not to certify an anti-fracking charter amendment and ordered it placed on the Nov. 3 ballot. 
In a 7-0 decision Thursday, the court ruled the board does “not have authority to sit as arbiters of the legality or constitutionality of a ballot measure’s substantive terms. An unconstitutional amendment may be a proper item for referendum or initiative. Such an amendment becomes void and unenforceable only when declared unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction.” 
“We’re pleased the court did what we thought was the law and glad citizens will have an opportunity to vote on the proposed charter amendment,” said city Law Director Martin Hume. “This was about the separation of powers. The board made a decision that should be the responsibility of the judicial branch.” 
The city filed a writ of mandamus with the high court Aug. 28, two days after the board voted not to certify the citizen-initiative charter amendment. The city contended the board acted “illegally” by refusing to put the issue on the ballot.
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