A Pivotal Pick for the Ohio Supreme Court
All three Republican candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court won their races on election day this year. Justice Patrick DeWine and Patrick Fischer each won reelection and Justice Sharon Kennedy defeated Justice Jennifer Brunner in the race to replace outgoing Chief Jsutice Maureen O’Connor. None of the races was partcularly close; all three races were decided by double digit margins.
Once Justice Kennedy assumes her role as the new Chief Justice, there will be a vacancy on the Court for Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to fill. Ohio Supreme Court justices serve six year terms, but when there is a mid-term vacancy–as is occurring here with Justice Kennedy’s elevation–the governor appoints a replacement to serve the remainder of the term.
Governor DeWine’s choice is particularly important because it will determine the orientation of the Court. There are seven seats on the Ohio Supreme Court. Three are held by conservatives (Kennedy, Fischer, and DeWine). And three are held by liberals (Brunner, Michael Donnelly, and Melody Stewart). Thus the seventh justice will control the Court’s balance. Chief Justice O’Connor, while once conservative, had become something of a “swing” justice, occasionally joining with the Court’s liberal wing on major issues. This has frus
Article from Reason.com