Tomorrow is a big day for the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, with a scheduled hearing to determine whether the citizen-led initiative can be invalidated. As an article in the Toledo Blade describes:

“The latest showdown over the ever-controversial Lake Erie Bill of Rights has an added twist: Would a federal judge actually invalidate a citizen-led initiative that passed at a special city election and, if so, what might that mean to the home-rule concept in general?

And could such decisions — whether they involve Lake Erie or not — be interpreted as power grabs by the state of Ohio, whether they happen in Toledo or somewhere else? In other words, when municipalities pass laws that Columbus doesn’t like, does Columbus have the right to butt in?”


“Hours after Toledo voters approved the Lake Erie Bill of Rights last Feb. 26 — literally the next morning — a Custar, Ohio-based agricultural corporation called Drewes Farms sued the city of Toledo in U.S. District Court. It claimed the Lake Erie Bill of Rights is unconstitutional and, therefore, the city cannot amend its charter to recognize it.

But can it do that? Can a corporation 40 miles away in southwest Wood County tell Toledo what can and cannot be printed in the city’s own charter?”

In other words, does a corporation have more rights than the citizens of Toledo, OH? Does that corporation have the right to pollute the drinking water of the city to the point where the water is not drinkable?