Welcome to Justice Jennifer Brunner's Campaign Website
Justice Jennifer Brunner is the 162nd Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Her current term expires January 1, 2027. She seeks to be Ohio's 11th Chief Justice, a separate seat on the state's highest court. Justice Brunner was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2008 for her service to Ohio as its first female Secretary of State. Please join our campaign to help elect Justice Jennifer Brunner to lead Ohio's courts as Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.
January 11, 2022 (COLUMBUS) — They reduce the rate of offenders returning to jail or prison. They save taxpayers money. And they save lives, keep families together, help people get their lives on track and strengthen our communities.
For three decades, Ohio’s courts have stepped up to help their communities with a variety of innovative treatment courts, known as “specialized dockets”— from drug courts and mental health courts to those built around the particularized needs of veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and other challenges. These specialized dockets, often developed and presided over by judges with no corresponding reduced regular docket load, help women find freedom from being victimized and sex-trafficked. They help domestic violence abusers and their families build healthier relationships. And for many program participants, these programs are the first best chance they’ve ever been offered to find help and begin to write their own future stories.
A leader in bringing the felony drug court to Franklin County 18 years ago when she served on its common pleas bench, Justice Jennifer Brunner today unveiled her plans for the continued growth and improvement of specialized dockets in Ohio as part of her plans if she is elected Chief Justice in 2022.
“Ohio has been a national leader in operating innovative, specialize dockets. If elected Chief Justice, I will use the power of collaborative leadership to ensure that these programs will become thoroughly institutionalized in Ohio’s courts,” Justice Brunner said.
Justice Brunner outlines plans for a permanent Commission on Fairness and Equality in Ohio’s Courts and Legal System
November 15 (COLUMBUS) — A more than 20-year-old vision for reform of Ohio’s legal system must be fulfilled to ensure that all Ohioans—regardless of their racial, nationality, socio-economic, gender and other diversity status—are assured equal treatment under the law.
That’s the even-handed treatment that Ohio Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Brunner is committed to and has the capacity to initiate as she runs for a six-year term for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court on the November 2022 ballot. A current justice of the court who holds experience as both a trial and appellate court judge in the state’s most populous county, along with statewide administrative experience as former Ohio Secretary of State and 17 years in private practice, Brunner unveiled her campaign platform on September 14, with a vision centered around removing barriers to fairness and equality in Ohio’s courts.
Today, Justice Brunner announced the details of a central plank of her platform: the establishment of a permanent “Commission on Fairness and Equality in Ohio’s Courts and Legal System.”
“When people think of courts their greatest hope--no matter their role in the courts--is to be treated fairly, win or lose,” said Justice Brunner. “That is the touchstone of public confidence in the courts. We must fearlessly and with a clear-eyed view identify and eliminate systemic inequality that has been shown to exist in our courts and legal system in Ohio,” said Brunner.
“In addition to our courts, our legal system must create a pathway for members of our many branches of human diversity in this state to be full participants; doing this will strengthen and grow the power of the people in our democratic processes embodied in our courts,” she added.
October 13 (COLUMBUS) — Justice Jennifer Brunner today urged local support for the development of a statewide database of criminal sentencing.
“I believe Ohio’s judges strive to do good. But we need more than anecdotal examples, personal beliefs or individual experiences to prove that. If we find deficiencies, the data informs us so that we can address and correct them. The data gives us the best information for creating effective rehabilitation for safer communities and humane outcomes,” said Justice Brunner, who is running for Chief Justice in the November 2022 election.
Justice Brunner is a former trial and appellate judge and a longtime supporter of the database, which she emphasized as a central plank of her policy platform announced in a speech to supporters and the media on September 14. She also supported it in her 2020 campaign for the Ohio Supreme Court.
Justice Brunner attended the ceremony in support.
Democrat Jennifer Brunner’s campaign for Ohio Supreme Court chief justice will focus on good-government reforms
September 14 (COLUMBUS) — Democratic Ohio Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Brunner said Tuesday her campaign for chief justice next year will center on a number of good-government initiatives -- including many started by the current chief justice, Republican Maureen O’Connor.
In a video address, Brunner laid out a list of priorities she said she would focus on if elected chief justice, including bail and conviction reform, expanding specialized dockets such as drug courts, and continuing to set up a statewide criminal sentencing database.
Much of Brunner’s platform seeks to continue programs initiated by O’Connor, such as bail and conviction reform. Brunner said in her video that, if elected, she intends to use the current chief justice’s “impressive accomplishments” as a “springboard” to further improve the state’s judicial system.
In a follow-up interview, Brunner said that she and O’Connor “don’t agree on every case,” but that she supports many of O’Connor’s administrative reforms. Brunner also said she will criticize her own party when she believes it’s warranted, as O’Connor did last year when the Ohio Republican Party attacked a Democratic judge over a voting-rights ruling.
“The race for chief justice is different from the race for an associate justice with the Supreme Court. It is not about jurisprudence, it’s about good government,” Brunner said in the interview. “And that’s going to be my focus in this campaign, because the chief justice has to rise above some of the petty arguing that goes on at all levels of government and look at the rule of law and what its importance is for everyday people in Ohio.”
COLUMBUS - As the only candidate in the race to have administered an Ohio statewide office and supervised local government activities in every county of Ohio—and to have served at all three levels of courts in the state (trial court, appellate court and supreme court)—Justice Jennifer Brunner today unveiled a policy agenda to lead Ohio’s judiciary as the next Chief Justice of Ohio.
The Chief Justice is the leader of the state’s judicial branch and makes decisions that affect the direction and orientation of every court in the state.
“My policy agenda to lead Ohio’s judiciary as Ohio’s next Chief Justice is organized around this simple principle: ‘Courts belong to the people.’ My vision for leading Ohio's courts embraces the principles of helping Ohioans have access to their courts while working with judges throughout Ohio as responsive public servants promoting fairness, equality and respect for all persons,” said Brunner, in remarks to the media and supporters streamed live and now available here.
Justice Brunner referred to Ohio’s current Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, the first female Chief Justice in Ohio’s history, as a friend and colleague, stating, “The Ohio judiciary has flourished under Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor’s leadership, and there is no reason to regress. There is so much more work ahead to help courts continue to grow in responsiveness to current problems of our complex society.”