When the Supreme Court of Ohio stopped hearing new cases on August 31, 2016, the blog published this list of submitted cases it has previewed and analyzed. All of these must be decided before Justices Lanzinger and Pfeifer retire at year’s end. There are other submitted cases; this is just the blog’s list:
In re: (C.C.S.), (C.L.S.) v. Adoption by Gentle Care, 2016-0395 (argued August 31, 20116)
In the Matter of: A.J. Adjudged Neglected Child (submitted without argument August 16, 2106)
Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority v. State Employment Relations Board et al., 2015-1205. (argued August 17, 2016)
State v. Noling, (argued May 31, 2016)
Foley v. Univ. of Dayton, (argued July 13, 2016)
State ex rel. Cincinnati Enquirer v. Deters. (argued June 14, 2016)
State of Ohio v. Dominic Jackson, 2015-1137 (argued May 31, 2016)
State of Ohio v. Christopher L. Anderson, 2015-1007 (argued May 31, 2016)
Darlene Burnham v. Cleveland Clinic, et al., 2015-1127. (argued May 4, 2016)
State of Ohio v. Matthew Aalim. (argued April 28, 2016)
Jessica Jacobson v. Ellen Kaforey et al., (argued April 19, 2016)
David Antoon et al. v. Cleveland Clinic Foundation et al., (argued April 5, 2016)
Lorna B. Ratonel et al v. Roetzel & Andress, LPA, et al. (argued February 23, 2016)
Pamela Argabrite v. Jim Neer, et al., 2015-0348 (argued Feb 9, 2016)
Ross J. Linert et al. v Adrien Foutz, et al., (argued January 5, 2016)
Simpkins v. Grace Brethern Church of Delaware, 2014-1953 (argued December 15, 2015)
State of Ohio v. V.M.D., (argued September 16, 2015)
State of Ohio v. Issa Kona (argued June 10, 2015)
State of Ohio v. Brandon Moore (argued February 4, 2015).
The only case that has been decided from the blog’s list is State v. Anderson. As a former appellate judge, I know how much time it takes to finish an opinion in a multi-judge court. But it is not as if all these cases were just argued. Some from the blog’s list, like State v. Brandon Moore, State v. Issa Kona, and State v. V.M.D. have been pending for over a year. That kind of delay seems especially unfair in criminal cases.
Elections can mess up the Court’s work. But this year, Chief Justice O’Connor is the only incumbent running for re-election, and she has no opponent. The other two seats are open due to the pending retirements of Justices Lanzinger and Pfeifer. So that shouldn’t be the reason for the logjam.