Strengthening Judicial Elections

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor is the 10th Chief Justice in Ohio history and the first woman to lead the Ohio judicial branch. In addition to hearing the cases presented to the court she also spends time on issues of court management and assisting local courts.

2013 marks 45 years since Ohio last enacted comprehensive reforms in the judicial system. After 45 years, the debate has risen again as to whether or not there should be judicial elections in Ohio. It is strongly believed that Ohioans will not give up their right to elect judges. There are changes that need to be made if we want to move away from what is widely referred to as, “the name game,” the fact the only thing most Ohioans know about their judges is the last name of the candidate and nothing about their record on the bench.

Among the eight questions put forth by Chief Justice O’Connor eliminating party affiliation on the ballot has raised the most debate. Other questions include whether or not appointments to the Ohio Supreme Court should require consent of the Ohio Senate, should Ohio increase the basic qualifications for serving as a judge, and should Ohio increase the length of judges’ terms?

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