White Paper on the Ohio Supreme Court
The issue of selecting the judiciary via elections has recently garnered widespread media attention. Various organizations and leaders, including retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, have made a coordinated effort to abolish judicial elections, generating debate as to whether they are the appropriate mechanism to select our judicial branch. The purpose of this paper is to make this ongoing discussion more robust by examining the history of judicial elections and the most significant attempts to eliminate them in Ohio. This paper focuses on Ohio’s history of selecting judges from the founding of Ohio as a state, to Ohio’s adoption of a new Constitution in 1851, to the numerous attempts by the bar and other groups to end judicial elections, to the present.