Recalibrating Justiciability in Ohio Courts
26 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2007
State courts are generally free to develop their own justiciability doctrines, and Ohio courts have usually chosen to voluntarily follow those developed by federal courts. In several recent cases the Ohio Supreme Court has departed from federal doctrine and lowered the thresholds of justiciability. This Essay first summarizes the standing requirements and the political question doctrine in federal courts. Then two Ohio Supreme Court decisions are discussed in which the court permitted cases raising state and federal issues to proceed with plaintiffs who probably did not satisfy traditional standing requirements. The Essay next discusses various rationales for lowering the threshold for standing but concludes that federal standing doctrine remains optimal and should continue to be followed by Ohio courts. Last, the political question doctrine, which Ohio courts appeared to use in the past, is discussed, with the conclusion that the doctrine has weaker roots in both federal and Ohio jurisprudence and that Ohio courts can thus correctly choose not to use it in some cases. Overall, the Essay finds that Ohio courts should proceed cautiously when departing from federal justiciability doctrine and that even the constitutional prong of the political question issue can still play a constructive role in Ohio courts.
Keywords: Federal Courts, Justiciability
JEL Classification: K19, K41, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation