Ohio Judicial Election Process Called into Question after Defeat of Highly-Rated Justices

November 15, 2012

The defeat of two incumbent supreme court justices has led some to consider making changes to the judicial election process. Neither justices’ qualifications were called into question, and both received higher ratings from the state bar association than did their challengers—one of whom was “not recommended.” Critics of the current process point out that judges are limited in what they can say in their campaigns and their party affiliations do not appear on the general election ballot, leaving voters to rely on such informational cues as whether candidates have “a good Irish-American name.” The newest members of the Ohio Supreme Court are Justices Kennedy and O’Neill, while Justice O’Donnell maintained his seat.