The Supreme Court of Ohio is about to have a dramatic make-over.
As I said in my October 16 post, judicial elections can be disruptive to the Court’s ongoing business. And this one will be. Two incumbents, Republican Robert Cupp and Democrat Yvette McGee Brown were defeated yesterday. Cupp was first elected to the Court in 2006. McGee Brown was appointed by then-Governor Strickland to fill an unexpired term beginning January 1, 2011. She was the first African American woman to serve on the high court.
The two incumbent justices will be replaced by William O’Neill, a retired court of appeals judge, and Sharon Kennedy, a Butler County Domestic Relations judge.
In addition to the defeat of two incumbent justices, Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton will be retiring at the end of the year, before the end of her term. Governor Kasich will select her successor in a process already announced. Now that he has handily won re-election to a full term on the First District Court of Appeals, it will be interesting to see if Judge Pat Fisher of Cincinnati, who is also president of the Ohio State Bar Association, throws his hat into the ring.
The Supreme Court of Ohio has a lot of submitted cases, and it looks like it will be a scramble to get them all decided and released.
One difference between being a judge (which I was in a former life) and a law professor (this current life) is that I can now be far more outspoken. So I want to end this post with saying how disappointed I am by the defeat of Justice Yvette McGee Brown, who as a “first” on the high court (I was the first woman ever elected to the First District Court of Appeals, so I know a glimmer about that, but that was far less consequential than the first that Justice McGee Brown represented) carried out the duties of that office with grace, dignity, preparedness, and soul. I watch lots and lots of oral arguments for the blog. Justice McGee Brown is a class act in every way. She’ll be sorely missed. And wouldn’t it be a better world if every campaign commercial was like this one?