Home rule involves the authority of a local government to prevent state government intervention with its operations. The extent of its power, however, is subject to limitations prescribed by state constitutions and statutes.
When a municipality or other political subdivision has the power to decide for itself whether to follow a particular course of action without receiving specific approval from state officials, it acts pursuant to such powers. For example, a town exercises its home rule powers when it puts the issue of allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages within its borders on the ballot.
My question is, as a principle, is it still in effect in Ohio? I want to avoid getting angry over the TEL betrayal so let me use the example of alcohol above to hopefully start a discussion -- I would be a fool not to take advantage of the wonderful minds of both the contributors and readers here at the State of Ohio Blog Alliance.
1. Does the principle even exist? Yes, localities in Ohio have the power to set limits on the sale of alcohol, but if only in accordance to what federal and state officials have already determined (IE...no purchases under 21). If lower levels of government only have domain by grant of some higher power -- does the power of the locality truly exist? Where did the state or the feds for that matter (the 21st Amendment gives the federal government no power to regulate alcohol) get the power to limit sale to those over 21?
It seems to me that the locality, in current practice, has only enough power as they are allowed by higher governments. Since these higher governments have shown no restraint in passing laws regulating myriad actions, are we not left with a few powers, designated to the lower levels of government only until the next congress convenes and passes yet more restrictions on the liberty of the people?
2. Shall conservatives allow our hands to be tied while those who wish to impose government control over citizens are given free reign to run roughshod over the rights of man?
Cities doing everything from requiring citizens that work for them to also live within their boundaries to those localities who wish to regulate cigarette use to those who wish to restrict the people's right to bear arms all cry "home rule" when the Ohio General Assembly ponders enacting protections for the people.
Shall we allow the Democrat Party to selectivly choose their principles as they continue to ignore the liberty of our fellw Ohioans? Are we to stand with only a principle in hand while we lose the very freedoms which that principle was supposed to protect in the first place?