Ohio residents are subject to Ohio state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Ohio as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Ohio also has its own state laws. Ohio state laws include the Ohio Constitution, laws passed by the Ohio legislature and periodically codified in the Ohio Revised Code, and decisions by courts that interpret Ohio laws.
While the current version of the Ohio Constitution dates from 1851, it was modified over the next several decades. The revisions increased the power of the people and distributed authority more evenly among the branches of government. The Constitution permits amendments by ballot initiative under Article II. Meanwhile, Article XVI allows the Ohio State Legislature to put an amendment on a ballot if 60 percent of each chamber of the legislature votes in its favor. A final path to amending the Constitution involves a constitutional convention. A proposal for a constitutional convention will appear on a ballot upon the approval of two-thirds of each chamber of the legislature, and automatically at intervals of 20 years.
The Ohio Revised Code contains the laws passed by the Ohio legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Ohio Constitution are often interpreted by the Ohio Supreme Court and the 12 Ohio District Courts of Appeals. Two federal district courts in Ohio also issue decisions that may affect Ohio residents. These are the Northern and Southern District Courts of Ohio. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by federal district courts in Ohio. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Sixth Circuit or from the Ohio Supreme Court.