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Warring Judges in Ohio


— July 27, 2003

The Ohio judiciary is playing a game of musical chairs.

On July 15, the Ohio Supreme Court voted to replace all seven justices with judges from the state’s Court of Appeals, for purposes of considering a petition filed by Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor.

Ray Vasvari, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, called the en masse recusal “most unusual, but most necessary.” In what some see as a case of strange bedfellows, Vasvari is serving as counsel for O’Connor, who was elected to the bench after serving as Ohio’s Republican lieutenant governor. Vasvari said the case “is so unique on so many levels that we find ourselves in uncharted waters at every turn.”

What prompted the recusal was a petition filed by O’Connor in June, asking the state Supreme Court to issue a writ prohibiting Judge William H. Wolff Jr., a Court of Appeals judge, from pursuing a judicial ethics complaint against her.

Read more about this very strange story here from The National Law Journal.


The Ohio judiciary is playing a game of musical chairs.

On July 15, the Ohio Supreme Court voted to replace all seven justices with judges from the state’s Court of Appeals, for purposes of considering a petition filed by Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor.

Ray Vasvari, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, called the en masse recusal “most unusual, but most necessary.” In what some see as a case of strange bedfellows, Vasvari is serving as counsel for O’Connor, who was elected to the bench after serving as Ohio’s Republican lieutenant governor. Vasvari said the case “is so unique on so many levels that we find ourselves in uncharted waters at every turn.”

What prompted the recusal was a petition filed by O’Connor in June, asking the state Supreme Court to issue a writ prohibiting Judge William H. Wolff Jr., a Court of Appeals judge, from pursuing a judicial ethics complaint against her.

Read more about this very strange story here from The National Law Journal.

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