When Ohioans go to the polls on August 8th to vote on “State Issue 1” – a ballot initiative that, if passed, would raise the threshold for changing the state’s constitution from a mere majority to 60% – they’ll be rendering verdict on more than a controversial matter.

They’ll be either endorsing or rejecting a fundamental and foundational principle of America’s founding.

During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, our Founding Fathers hotly debated many matters, but especially this one:

How difficult or easy should it be to change the Constitution?

In the end, Article V made clear there was a consensus that the passage of amendments to the Constitution should require something of a herculean effort and be hard-won. In fact, since the document’s historic adoption, there have been over 11,000 amendments proposed – and only 27 have passed.

Speaking at the 1787 convention, James Madison noted the passage of amendments should be challenging to pass to protect “against that extreme facility which would render the Constitution too mutable.” In other words, Madison and others didn’t want our founding document to be temporary but enduring.

As it stands now, amendments to the United States Constitution need to first be passed by two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Ultimate passage will only come after three-fourths of states ratify. An alternative path to a Constitutional amendment has never happened since 1787 – two-thirds of the states calling for a constitutional Convention.

Over the years, these hurdles have protected the American people from all types of activist mischief, and given the current climate in Ohio, this sober-minded approach to governing will offer similar insulation.

Aaron Baer, president of the Center for Christian Virtue, is helping lead the effort to pass Issue 1. Principled, courageous, tireless and committed, Baer understands the stakes and what’s motivating those who advocate what the Founding Fathers warned against.

“For decades, deep-pocketed special interests have tried to manipulate Ohio’s Constitution to force their radical political agendas on the state,” Baer told the Daily Citizen. “Now they’re looking to pass an initiative to legalize abortion up until birth, without parental consent. This would lead to the loss of 30,000 lives per year. This is why voters must pass Issue 1 on August 8 to elevate the threshold to amend the constitution to 60 percent and protect our state.”

Of course, Issue 1 is about more than abortion. There are any number of issues that menacing activists may try to push through the legislative process, and making it more difficult to radicalize the Ohio constitution is a very good thing.

As it stands now, though, abortion activists are engaging in an all-out war to defeat the initiative. That’s because Ohioans are expected to vote in November on a proposed amendment that declares “Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion.”

Notice how broad the amendment was written to include references to issues well beyond the scope of abortion itself – something that the majority of pro-life champions do not try and legislate.

Recent polling shows 58% of Ohioans support the amendment, an outcome that makes clear just how critical a supermajority threshold stands to be on such a hotly debated issue.

Our Founding Fathers well understood that passing passions and volatile partisanship might not be avoided altogether – but those vices could be managed, mitigated and even muted by wise leadership and policies that take into account and protect against the inevitability of human nature.

Aaron Baer and our friends at the Center for Christian Virtue, as well as other allies who support responsible government, deserve our support and our prayers.


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