Retired & Former Judges from Across Ohio Unite in Support of Justice Jennifer Brunner for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
Statewide Initiative is Without Known Precedent in Ohio Electoral History
Eighteen Ohio retired and former judges today announced an initiative to support Justice Jennifer Brunner in her campaign for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. The election is Nov. 8. Early voting is underway.
“This election will decide who will lead the Ohio court system for the next six years. We need a Chief Justice who is independent, fair and impartial and who will uphold the rule of law and protect our rights. That leader is Justice Jennifer Brunner,” said The Honorable Nadine Allen, who spent 30 years as a trial judge in Cincinnati, six years on the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas and 24 years on the Hamilton County Municipal Court. “This effort is unprecedented. We’re not aware of a moment in Ohio history where retired judges from across Ohio came together to support a colleague running for Chief Justice.”
The retired and former judges come from rural and urban communities, from courts at every level of the judicial system (trial, appellate and Supreme Court) and together have more than three centuries of experience serving the people of Ohio in the administration of justice.
The group released an ad with four of the retired and former jurists talking directly to Ohio voters. The ad will run in every county of Ohio from now until election day. Written and video testimonials from all 18 of the retired judges will reach Ohio voters on social media, letters to the editor and other means. The testimonials are available here.
“I know how hard it is to get information on judicial races. Son’t just vote for a familiar name. Do your research. The Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court is extremely important.” said The Hon. Judge Ronald B. Adrine in one of the videos. In his testimonial, Judge Adrine wrote: “As a retired judge, I know the difference the Chief Justice makes in the system’s direction. Make it your business to find out! Then vote to protect your rights and values. Vote Jennifer Brunner for Chief Justice!” Judge Adrine is one of the organizers of the group. He served on the Cleveland Municipal Court for 36 years and retired as the administrative and presiding judge in 2018.
Following is a list of the retired and former judges supporting Justice Brunner’s candidacy for Chief Justice and participating in the initiative. Their testimonials and other information are available at JusticeBrunner.com.
Retired & Former Judges supporting Justice Jennifer Brunner for Chief Justice:
● The Honorable Ronald B. Adrine, Cleveland Municipal Court, Retired (36 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Nadine Allen, Hamilton County Common Pleas, Hamilton County Municipal Court, Retired (30 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Patricia Ann Blackmon, Eighth District Court of Appeals in Cleveland, Retired (30 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Eric Brown, former Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Franklin County Probate Court, Franklin County Municipal Court, Retired (6.5 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Dale Chase, Medina Municipal Court, Retired (30 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Stuart K. Friedman, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Retired (32 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Jeffrey Froelich, Second District Court of Appeals, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, Retired (42 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Rosemary Grdina Gold, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, Division of Domestic Relations, Retired (10 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Barbara Gorman, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court General Division, Retired (33 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Burt Griffin, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Retired (30 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Mabel Jasper, Cleveland Municipal Court, Retired (17 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Una Keenon, East Cleveland Municipal Court, Retired (20 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Stuart K. Miller, Wayne County Municipal Court, Retired (25 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Carla Moore, Ninth District Court of Appeals, Retired (28 years on the bench).
● The Honorable Adele M. Riley, Montgomery County Municipal Court, Retired (25 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Ken Rocco, Eighth District Court of Appeals, Retired (32 years on the bench)
● The Honorable José Villanueva, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Retired (28 years on the bench)
● The Honorable Sandra Walker, East Cleveland Municipal Court, Retired (5 years on the bench).
Justice Brunner announced her candidacy in June 2021 and released a broad policy agenda and vision to lead the third branch of Ohio government. Her Republican opponent has not released any proposals for how she would lead the courts of Ohio and has been critical of many of the court’s recent reforms for fairness in the criminal justice system.
“I am running for Chief Justice because I care about the future of the Ohio Supreme Court and want to ensure it is responsive to Ohioans’ needs for fairness, equality and respect in administering justice in this state,” Brunner said. “The Chief Justice has the power to shape the administration of justice and the practice of law in the state.”
The Ohio Constitution provides that the Chief Justice exercises superintendence of the Ohio judicial system according to the high court’s rules. Brunner is the only other member of the court other than the current Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who holds experience managing a statewide office and network of local offices throughout the state, having served from 2007-2011 as Ohio’s 152nd Secretary of State.
Among other extraordinary powers, the Chief Justice:
● Decides on contested motions for disqualification for judges on the lower courts when parties assert the judge has a conflict.
● Assigns visiting judges and justices to hear cases when a judge or justice is disqualified or otherwise unable to hear cases.
● Appoints the judges to the Ohio Court Claims, which has exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases involving plaintiffs seeking money damages against state entities.
Brunner was elected as an Associate Justice in November 2020, defeating incumbent Justice Judith French 55.3% to 44.7% garnering 2.69 million votes statewide. She won 14 of Ohio’s 16 Congressional districts, including 10 Republican Congressional districts. Brunner has never lost a general election.
Previously she served as a judge of the Tenth District Court of Appeals and the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. As a trial court judge, Brunner founded the county’s adult felony drug court, known as the TIES (Treatment is Essential to Success) Program, now in its 18th year of operation. She served as Ohio’s first and only female Secretary of State, earning the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the nation’s most prestigious award for elected public servants.