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Opinion, per JOHNSON, J.

Article XVIII, finds its validity in the constitution itself, and not in the enactments of the general assembly. The source of authority and the measure of its extent is the constitution. It would seem by analogy, therefore, that, if the legislature was vested with power to confer the right to vote upon women for school directors, because that is not an office created by the constitution, and because the general assembly had been given power to provide for the maintenance of common schools, a fortiori the charter of a city, by which a part of the sovereign governmental power may be exercised under the sanction of the constitution itself, which conferred upon women the right to vote for municipal elective officers and to be elected to and hold a municipal office, not created by the constitution but by the charter itself, is valid.

Counsel for defendants concede that "it may well be that the power to prescribe the qualifications of electors for the purpose of all local elections is accurately classified as one of the powers of local self-government,” but contend that Article V, Section 1, is controlling. But we are here confronted with the Schedule to the Constitution, as adopted in 1912, viz.: “Any provision of the amendments passed and submitted by this convention and adopted by the electors, inconsistent with, or in conflict with, any provision of the present constitution, shall be held to prevail."

Any provision in a charter which purports to confer powers upon a municipal government in excess of those permitted to be granted by the constitution, or which disregards in any way the

Opinion, per JOHNSON, J.

limitations imposed by that instrument, would of course be void. Therefore, the provisions of Section 36-A, conferring upon women the right to vote for all municipal elective officers, and the right to hold any municipal office, could not be extended beyond the proper scope of local self-government.

The authority given by Article XVIII of the Constitution to adopt a charter, and exercise thereunder all powers of local self-government, is manifestly limited to matters of purely local and municipal concern. No power is thereby granted to legislate upon or interfere in any way with the affairs of the state government. The municipality, as well after as before the adoption of a charter, is an arm-a part-of the state. It could not con

fer upon women the right to vote for, or exercise any of the functions of, an office created by the constitution or by the general assembly. For example, Section 1, Article IV of the Constitution, makes provisions for courts to exercise the judicial power of the state. That is a matter wholly within the state governmental authority, to be provided for and regulated by the state. And to hold that a municipality could establish a court with jurisdiction in state cases, or make any other provision relating to governmental matters of the state or any of its subdivisions except the municipality itself, would be to confer on it powers not at all contemplated by the home-rule amendment.

It was held in Steamboat Northern Indiana v. Milliken, 7 Ohio St., 384, that an act to confer on a mayor jurisdiction of a justice of the peace in all matters, civil and criminal, arising under the laws

Dissenting Opinion, per Jones, J.

of the state, required the votes of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly, under the provisions of Section 15, Article IV of the Constitution. This was on the ground that jurisdiction to try such cases was lodged by the constitution in state courts established according to its provisions.

Section 10, Article IV of the Constitution, provides that “All judges, other than those provided for in this constitution, shall be elected by the electors of the judicial district for which they may be created, but not for a longer term of office than five years."

Therefore, if a woman should be elected mayor, pursuant to the terms of a charter adopted by a municipality, she would be incapable of exercising any of the jurisdiction of a magistrate in civil or criminal matters which the legislature might confer by general provisions upon the mayors of cities and villages.

For the reasons hereinbefore given, the writ will be allowed.

Writ allowed.


JONES, J., dissenting. Section 1 of Article V of the State Constitution of 1851 is as follows: "Every

male citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the state one year next preceding the election, and of the county, township, or ward, in



Dissenting Opinion, per Jones, J.

which he resides, such time as may be provided by law, shall have the qualifications of an elector, and be entitled to vote at all elections."

The term “all elections” is now construed by this court to mean only those elections of constitutional origin or cognizance, and is so construed as not to include municipal elections. This section is simple, plain and explicit. It does not say “at all electicns provided for by the constitution” or “at all elections except municipal elections.” It does not say "at some elections,” but “at all elections," which includes municipal, a signification applied by legislative and popular policy in this state for nearly a century. This is the only article of the constitution that relates exclusively to the elective franchise, and in no other part of that organic law can there be found a single syllable which attempts to define the qualifications of electors for the state and its political subdivisions. Until recently I have never heard the claim advanced, by layman, lawyer or jurist, that this section of the constitution did not embrace municipal elections. By the terms of this section the male sex obtained, via the constitution, the right to vote at municipal elections, and neither legislative policy nor enactment can deny them this constitutional right; although if the majority opinion be followed the legislature of the state may confine the elective municipal franchise solely to women, or to others, as it may choose. When the Constitution of 1851 was framed the members of the constitutional convention knew that cities were organized and elections held therein, as held in townships, counties and state,

Dissenting Opinion, per Jones, J.

and they employed this composite term, "all elections,” as comprehending each and every political election held in the state and its political subdivisions. They recognized municipalities as “things already in being." See last proposition of syllabus, Cass v. Dillon, 2 Ohio St., 608.

The president of the Ohio Woman's Suffrage Association simply reflected the view of the body politic, when, upon learning of the decision of this court, she gave the following interview to the press: “I had no idea when our suffrage movement was defeated in 1912 and the home-rule amendment passed, that it might prove a valuable ally and secure municipal suffrage for us. Neither did forces that supported home rule have any such idea, I am sure."

As applicable to the popular construction involved, and especially germane to this case, is the language of the judge delivering the opinion in Platt, a Taxpayer, v. Craig et al., 66 Ohio St., 75, 77: “The constitution must be construed in the light of the popular and received signification of its words. Because it emanates from the people it must be construed as the people must have understood it.”

When the constitutional convention of 1912 adjourned it submitted a constitutional amendment to the people granting to women the elective franchise “at all elections.” This was defeated by a majority of 87,455. Another proposal granting female suffrage by constitutional amendment was submitted in 1914, which if adopted would have granted women the right to vote at all elections.

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