State Issue One, the legislatively-referred proposal to amend the Ohio Constitution to raise the age at which a judge could run for or be appointed to a judicial office from 70 to 75 was overwhelmingly defeated, despite the strong endorsement from Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and most of the state’s newspapers.
Curiously, the measure was defeated by almost exactly the same margin (62% opposed, 38% in favor) as the far more controversial State Issue Two, (61% in favor of repeal; 39% in favor of keeping the bill), a referendum to repeal Am. Sub. Senate Bill 5, which greatly restricted the collective bargaining rights of public employees. That may just have been a coincidence, or it may have had something to do with the position of the Ohio Democratic Party to vote “no” on all three ballot measures. Still, that theory doesn’t explain the overwhelming passage of State Issue Three, opting Ohioians out of the individual federal health care mandate (66% in favor; 34% opposed), despite its dubious constitutionality.
So, a lot of 70 plus year old judges who were hoping for one final six year term aren’t going to get it. As far as the Ohio Supreme Court goes, Justices Paul Pfeifer and Judith Lanzinger, both of whom were re-elected last year, are now in their last term and won’t be able to run again.