Monday, November 28, 2016

Supreme Court elections official

First District judges Pat Fischer and Pat DeWine have officially won the elections for the seats being vacated by Justices Paul Pfeiffer and Judith Ann Lanzinger, respectively. Fischer narrowly defeated Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell--O'Donnell only conceded the race this past week--and will be sworn in on January 1. DeWine, who earned a sizeable victory over Judge Cynthia Rice of the Eleventh District, will be sworn in on January 2.

My personal perspective is that this is good news for the Court generally. I live and practice in the First District and so have seen Fischer and DeWine up close for several years. They have both been smart and extremely competent appellate judges, and I imagine they'll be the same as justices.

But this is a time of uncertainty for the First District, which by February will have four new judges. In addition to the two as-yet-unknown judges who will be appointed to replace Fischer and DeWine, Judge Peter Stautberg lost his retention election to Marilyn Zayas-Davis, who will be sworn in any day now with the distinction of being Ohio's first Hispanic female judge. And Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon will retire and be replaced by Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Beth A. Myers.  While it remains to be seen what kind of judges Zayas-Davis and Fischer and DeWine's replacements turn out to be, I'm confident that Judge Myers will be excellent on the court of appeals. As you may know, I clerked for Judge Myers in her trial court from 2007 to 2009.

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