Blogs > Northern Ohio Local Politics

Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Do the Supremes sing same tune?

On Dec. 30, the seven-member Ohio Supreme Court announced that it agreed by unanimous vote that, sure, any judicial candidates can publicly identify their political party leanings as either Democrat, Republican or independent.

But on Jan. 13, SUPCO voted 5-2 to reverse that decision, then publicly announced the change on Jan. 20 (Tuesday this week).

That is, the state’s highest court says that no such judicial candidate can identify politically party affiliation, especially in a November nonpartisan general election after Ds and Rs nominated their party banner carrier in partisan spring primaries.

This is as the judicial-wing all-Republican Ohio SUPCO is in a state now with a heavy Democrat majority in the executive and legislative wings.

Two SUPCO benches are up in the 2010 election. Chief Justice Tom Moyer’s term is up, but he cannot seek re-election next year. Justice Judith Lanzinger can run next year for another six-year term.
What if Moyer, Lanzinger or any justice suddenly resigned and/or retired?
Then Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, would refer to any screening committee recommendations and make his own final choice to fill any such a bench this year. But would there then be any special Supreme Court election this year?

So far, most Strickland appointees, judicial or not, are Democrats.

And what if any well-known Democrats are poised to announce any day for the 2010 benches, just as long as they don’t say they’re Democrats?

Could Ohio see wild and crazy 2009 special statewide elections, including among judges, this year and into 2010?

You know, just like the non-stop, non-judicial special and regular elections from 2006 into 2008 so resigned Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann could be succeeded by an interim AG, then by former State Treasurer to become the elected AG Richard Cordray?

So Cordray could span three offices in a year if he runs next year for the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio. And Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, also a Democrat, could run this year or next for any vacant SUPCO bench.

--David W. Jones


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home