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CityBeat: Skindell, O'Neill, Brown for Ohio Supreme Court

By Staff · October 31st, 2012 · Election

Ohio is a swing state, but there is very little in our state government that reflects that right now. Republicans dominate the General Assembly. Republicans dominate the governorship and other executive positions. The Ohio Supreme Court is no different. It is currently dominated by Republican justices in a striking 6-1 margin.

To many, this might not seem like a huge deal. Most people can’t name one Supreme Court justice at the federal or state level. Most people don’t care. But courts make the big decisions. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned segregation in public schools with Brown v.

Board of Education in 1954. The U.S. Supreme Court also overturned laws banning abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973.

State supreme courts can have just as big of an impact. Just like the U.S. Supreme Court decides the legality and constitutionality of federal laws, the Ohio Supreme Court decides the legality and constitutionality of state laws.  That means the Ohio Supreme Court can affirm or repeal Ohio laws regulating abortion or limiting gay rights. The Ohio Supreme Court can rule on whether Gov. John Kasich should be allowed to carry out a privatization agenda. The court can rule on any Ohio law or regulation.

That makes the 6-1 divide between six Republicans and Democratic Justice Yvette McGee Brown all the more inappropriate. When these Republican justices decide on important state issues, they won’t be ruling for all Ohioans. The divide does not represent a state that is supposed to be down the middle. It’s time to restore some balance to the Ohio Supreme Court. For the Ohio Supreme Court, elect Mike Skindell and William O’Neill and re-elect Justice Brown.



11.01.2012 at 11:13 Reply

Reggie Huff

The real reason that the GOP is attacking Judge O'Neill in this exceptional manner at this time is because of the lawsuit my wife and I filed in Federal Court on Oct 16th against Firstenergy naming five Republican Justices of the Ohio Supreme Court as "nominal" 
Defendants (Lisa G. Huff et al v. Firstenergy et al-12 CV 2583). My wife’s permanent disability confining her to a nursing home directly involves issues surrounding a utility generated hazard.
Both my wife and I are lifelong registered Republicans. As such we could not be more concerned and disgusted at the state of the Ohio Judiciary and in particular the Ohio Supreme Court. Our suit charges that Firstenergy, through its top executives, loaded a super majority of Republican Justices up with ILLEGAL (straw donor) campaign cash with the expectation of and in exchange for specific exclusive improper official acts in a specific case redounding to illegal control of the Ohio Supreme Court for their exclusive and otherwise unobtainable benefit. 
Channel 21 WFMJ did a good and fair story on this case on Oct 18th in which a predicable irrelevant statement of recrimination released by Firstenergy was announced. Other news organizations have since been investigating and the Ohio GOP is anticipating a big shoe to drop in the final days of this campaign.  
The decision to file this suit was made earlier in the year without concern about the election. We did not know anything about Judge O'Neill. While it is true that Judge O'Neill's Aug complaint filed against Justices Cupp & O'Donnell is mentioned in our suit because it lends credibility to it, Judge O'Neill otherwise had nothing to do with our case.  
As Republicans my wife and I must support Judge O'Neill because he has proven himself principled on the issue of "MONEY AND JUDGES DON"T MIX". As Republicans we are always talking about wanting our public officials to be principled so they are at least somewhat predictable.  
As far as the "rape" case is concerned, at a time when so many rape cases have been thrown out after conviction due to DNA and some prosecutors have been exposed as being overeager to the point of being corrupt (Duke Lacrosse) do we really want a judge who is not principled and worried about future political attacks to rule on these cases? As Republicans, freedom and liberty are a hallmark of what we stand for yet the slightest misuse of the power of the state can destroy all that in a second. As a tough on crime Republican I Applaud Judge O'Neill for holding the trial court accountable for rushing to convict someone, guilty or not, without giving that person a fair chance to defend himself. This is precisely what appellate court judges are supposed to do and far too many do not do.  
Justice Cupp supports our current election system for judges on the basis that it allows the people to hold judges accountable and then supports a self-serving system where judicial complaints are secret. In order for the system to actually work as stated the people have to be informed of all newsworthy events especially those that cause an entire political party to go off the rails.