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O'Connor Submits Petitions for Ohio Supreme Court

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Location: Columbus, OH


Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O'Connor today filed her petitions containing almost 3000 signatures to run for re-election to the state Supreme Court. Justice O'Connor announced her intention to travel to every part of Ohio to talk to voters about the importance of maintaining the integrity of Ohio's highest court.

Justice O'Connor was elected 148th Justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio in 2002. In addition to her responsibilities hearing the array of cases presented to the Court, Justice O'Connor devotes herself to educational initiatives for Ohio's students and to matters of security, such as the Advisory Committee on Court Security and Emergency Preparedness, which she chairs.

Justice O'Connor's judicial experience is extensive. In 1980 - after private practice- she was appointed as a magistrate in the Summit County Probate Court. After almost nine years on the probate court bench, then-Governor Voinovich appointed O'Connor to serve as a judge on the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. Two years after her appointment, she was re-elected to the Common Pleas Court and then elected by her fellow judges to serve as Administrative Judge.

In 1995, Justice O'Connor stepped down from the bench to become Summit County Prosecutor. In that job, she oversaw one of the largest public law offices in Ohio, handling thousands of criminal and civil cases.

In 1998, the people of Ohio elected O'Connor as their lieutenant governor - the second-highest official in the state. She became the governor's chief advisor on criminal justice issues while also serving as Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Immediately after September 11th, 2001 Justice O'Connor was appointed as chair of Ohio's Security Task Force and the State Building Security Review Committee as well as Ohio's liason to the Office of Homeland Security.

In 2002 Justice O'Connor ran for an open seat on the Ohio Supreme Court and was elected with almost 58% of the vote and won 86 of 88 counties.

In announcing her candidacy for re-election, Justice O'Connor pointed out that as a Supreme Court Justice, she has demonstrated leadership, independence and integrity. "On the Supreme Court, I have served, and hope to continue to serve, as a judge and not as a legislator," O'Connor said. "It may sound like common sense, but not every judge views his or her job that way.

O'Connor described her judicial philosophy as a "common-sense constructionist." Ohio has had a Court that adheres to judicial restraint, which has allowed for predictability and stability in the law, benefiting the bench, the bar and the public. She pointed out that she believes strongly that judges should limit themselves to interpreting the law and the constitution and leave policy debates where they belong - in the legislature. She has repeatedly acted on this belief as a Supreme Court of Ohio Justice for the last five years, and, if reelected, will continue to do so.


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