Constitution for sale to business interests

Constitution for sale to business interests

Letter to the Editor,

In October 2024, the Europa Clipper is scheduled to blast off for its mission to Jupiter. With its solar power array, it’s longer than a basketball court and will orbit Jupiter doing dozens of flybys of its moon, Europa. This unmanned robotic spacecraft could help us discover if this moon has the conditions suitable for life and if there is a vast ocean beneath miles of ice.

To engage the public, the Clipper will carry people’s names. The Participation Map shows over 1.9 million people around the globe have added their names to this NASA project so far. Right now 17,298 names are from Ohio. It’s likely some are Democrats and some are Republicans. Some voted yes on Issue 1 and 2, others voted no, and some did not vote at all.

Ohio is like a spaceship. Traveling well together requires a foundation of laws that work well.

Ohio is one of 18 states that allows citizens to propose constitutional amendments. It’s one of 10 allowing a 50% plus one vote without other requirements, to force everyone into compliance. Another later vote may change the law again. Ohio’s current process brings an outpouring of out-of-state money, creating a tug-of-war over our constitution.

What we have now is a process of bullying each other.

A majority of voters in 63 of Ohio’s 88 counties rejected Issue 1 on abortion. The 25 counties with a majority yes vote were mainly in areas like Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Those in big cities shouted down those in small towns.

Despite having $17.7 million more, those backing Issue 1 could not gain 57% of the vote. If the special election in August had passed, raising the vote needed to 60%, Issue 1 would have failed.

And what about that August proposal? It would have changed the process to include signatures from every county, and if the names when certified fell short, it would not have allowed even one day to collect more, decreasing the ability to bring amendments in actual practice. If that is done, it should be done with transparency.

Ohio is an exploited state. Pushing and pulling and fighting each other, our state’s constitution is for sale to business interests. It’s time for a better process.

To have your name “stenciled” by an electron beam onto a microchip to fly 1.8 billion miles on the Europa Clipper, go to The deadline is Dec. 31 at 11:59 p.m. It is free.

We travel together in a place called Ohio. What will our future hold? That is an even more important kind of adventure.

Brenda Miller


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