O’Connor, Lanzinger endorsed

O’Connor, Lanzinger endorsed

The race for the Ohio Supreme Court is unlike any other in several respects.

For one thing, the candidates by rule can’t specifically discuss any issue that is likely to come before the court, which tends to hamper debate. For another, the races are defined as nonpartisan, even though each of the candidates in the November race won a partisan primary in May. And finally, there are no unqualified candidates in these races. All are graduates of fine universities and law schools; all have extensive, if varied, legal experience, including judicial experience. All are solid citizens.

There are two races on the November ballot, one for chief justice, a seat that had been held for 24 years by Thomas Moyer, who died suddenly on April 2.

The candidates

Eric Brown, a former Franklin County Probate Court judge, was appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland to fill out Moyer’s term.

Brown and Maureen O’Connor, who has been a state supreme court justice since 2003, had already committed to run for Moyer’s seat. He was barred by age from seeking another term.

In the other race, Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, who is finishing her first six-year term on the court, is being challenged by Mary Jane Trapp. Lanzinger is a former Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge and member of the 6th District Court of Appeals; Trapp sits on the 11th District Court of Appeals and is former president of the Ohio State Bar Association.

Having Brown and Trapp, two Democrats, on the Republican-dominated court would give it some balance. That factor can’t be ignored.

However we believe O’Connor’s more extensive experience on the court makes her the stronger candidate for chief justice. And we believe that in her one term on the court Lanzinger has earned consideration for re-election.

This paper has not agreed with many of the judicial decisions of either in the past, but these races transcend how a candidate ruled in a limited number of specific cases.

The Vindicator endorses O’Connor for chief justice and Lanzinger for a second term as justice on the Ohio Supreme Court.

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