Ohio Court Hearing on Constitutionality of Age Limit to Run for City Office

On September 29, a U.S. District Court in Akron, Ohio, heard oral arguments in McClafferty v Portage County Board of Elections. This is the case over the constitutionality of a city ordinance that says elected city office-holders must be at least 23 years of age. Here is a description of the hearing. There is no decision yet, but one is expected very soon, as the city holds its election in November 2009. Thanks to Carter Momberger for the link.


Ohio Court Hearing on Constitutionality of Age Limit to Run for City Office — 3 Comments

  1. There is no violation of the US Constitution. The US Constitution sets age limits for federal offices and does not prohibit states from setting limits for other offices. I do not know what the Ohio Constitution says.

  2. I doubt it violates the Federal Constitution, but I have not read the applicable State Constitution or State legal precedent in this area.

    Personally, the age limit seems a bit high for a local election, but as a judge — if i were — i have to look at the constitution, enacted laws and precedent.

  3. The candidate is also arguing that the 23-year age limit was put into the city charter just to block him, so he argues that due process was violated. There are precedents that say restrictions cannot be added in the middle of the campaign and election process. For example, West Virginia doubled the number of signatures in 1999, effective with the 2000 election. Ralph Nader won a lawsuit saying since petitioning had already started for 2000 when the law went into effect, the law violated due process and could not be implemented until 2002.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *