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Ohio Legal Research

ohio legal research ohio case law ohio statutes ohio legislative history

Background Information

What is legislative history?

A legislative history is an attempt to determine the intent of the legislature.  The intent of the legislature is one of the arguments you can use when arguing how a ambiguous statute should be interpreted.

Food for thought:

  • If ambiguity exists, the first place to look beyond the statute’s own text for legal authority is to judicial interpretation.
  • Legislative histories are not controlling or binding on any court.
  • Not all Judges are amenable to legislative history arguments (some are quite hostile).
  • Not all legislative documents are created equal.

Diagram depicting how a Bill becomes a Law in Ohio (from the Ohio Legislative Service Commission)

Step-by-Step Guide

Consult this guide prepared by the law library at the University of Cincinnati School of Law.  Our law library will have some of these print resources, but a fuller collection is available in Cincinnati.

Further Readings

David A. Gold,  A Guide to Legislative History in Ohio
(Ohio Legislative Service Commission, 1985).
Call Number:  KFO75 .G65 1985

E. Pollack and C. O'Brien, The History of Legislative Publications in Ohio, 13 Ohio State Law Journal 307 (1952).

Melanie Putnam and Susan Schaefgen, Ohio Legal Research Guide (1997).
Call Number: Reference Desk KFO 75 .P88

Sara Sampson, Katherine L. Hall, Carolyn Broering-Jacobs, Ohio Legal Research (2015).
Call Number: Reference Desk KFO 75 .H357 2015 (see chapter ten).

William H. Manz, Guide to State Legislative and Administrative Materials (2008).
Call Number: Reference KF1 .G8 2008