Maureen O'Connor (Ohio)
|Current Court Information:|
|Ohio Supreme Court|
|Past post:||Lieutenant Governor of Ohio|
|Past post 2:||Prosecuting Attorney, Summit County, Ohio|
|Past term 2:||1995-1997|
|Undergraduate:||Seton Hill College, 1973|
|Law School:||Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, 1980|
- 2002-2016: Justice, Ohio Supreme Court
- 1998-2002: Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
- 1995-1997: Prosecuting attorney, Summit County, Ohio
- 1993-1995: Judge, Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Ohio
- 1985-1993: Magistrate, Summit County Probate Court
- 1980-1984: Attorney in private practice
Awards and associations
- 2008: William H. Rehnquist Award, Republican Party of Cuyahoga County
- 1997: MADD Law Enforcement Award, Summit County, Ohio
- 1997: Cleveland State University Distinguished Alumnae Award for Civic Achievement
- 2011: Women's Bar Foundation Leadership Institute
- Chair, Advisory Committee on Court Security and Emergency Preparedness, Ohio Supreme Court
- Main article: Ohio judicial elections, 2010
O'Connor was elected chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, becoming the first woman in Ohio history to serve in that position. She defeated Eric Brown in the general election, winning 67.8% of the vote.
|Maureen O'Connor||No||Brown Seat||Republican||67.6%|
|Eric Brown||Yes||Brown Seat||Democratic||32.4%|
Justice Connor was re-elected to the supreme court on November 4, 2008. She faced Joseph D. Russo, a Common Pleas Court judge from Cuyahoga County. Justice O'Connor won with 67% of the votes, to Judge Russo's 33%. 
|Maureen O'Connor||Yes||O'Connor Seat||Republican||67.1%|
|Joseph Russo||No||O'Connor Seat||Democratic||32.9%|
|Timothy S. Black||No||Democratic||42.7%|
In the news
Proposal for strengthening judicial elections
On May 26, 2013, O'Connor contributed an op-ed piece to the Columbus Dispatch introducing a proposal titled "Ohio Courts 2013: A Proposal for Strengthening Judicial Elections." This proposal was submitted in hopes of encouraging the public to get involved in judicial reform. Issues that O'Connor presented for consideration:
- Should Ohio change the law so judicial races are no longer listed at the end of the ballot?
- Should all judicial elections be held in odd-numbered years?
- Should Ohio centralize and expand its civic-education programming and institute a judicial voter guide?
- Should Ohio eliminate party affiliation on the ballot in judicial primaries?
- Should Ohio join the other states that have a formal, nonpartisan system for recommending nominees to the governor to fill judicial vacancies?
- Should appointments to the Ohio Supreme Court require the advice and consent of the Ohio Senate?
- Should Ohio increase the basic qualifications for serving as a judge?
- Should Ohio increase the length of judges’ terms?
- See also: Akron Legal News, "It’s time to work together to strengthen judicial elections," May 30, 2013
Plan to reduce judiciary budget
During a news conference on July 21, 2010, O'Connor outlined a plan to help reduce the cost of running the judiciary in Ohio, focusing on the chief justice's role as head of the state's courts. Suggested ways to cut costs included: cuts to the Ohio Courts Network, the state law library, and implementing a two year salary freeze for court personnel.
In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. O'Connor received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of 0.91, indicating a conservative ideological leaning. This is more conservative than the average CF score of 0.62 that justices received in Ohio. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.
- Cleveland.com, "Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor presses for court reforms," August 30, 2013
- The Dispatch, "Chief justice seeks changes in how Ohio appoints, elects judges," April 3, 2011
- Ohio Supreme Court, "Justice Maureen O'Connor"
- The Vindy, "Justice O'Connor stresses diversity," March 26, 2010
- The Plain Dealer, "Ohio Supreme Court reverses Brunner on Summit appointment," June 16, 2008
- The Supreme Court of Ohio, "Press Release: Chief Justice Supports State Issue 1," September 28, 2011
- The Plain Dealer, "Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor says party labels have no place in judicial elections," May 9, 2013
- Ohio Supreme Court, "Maureen O'Connor biography"
- Ohio Supreme Court, "Justices Named to Women's Bar Foundation Leadership Institute," March 29, 2011
- Ohio Secretary of State, "2010 Election Results"
- The Plain Dealer, "Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O'Connor to make run for chief justice official today," February 9, 2010
- Ohio Secretary of State, "2008 Election Results"
- Ohio Secretary of State, "2002 Election Results"
- Ohio Citizen, "2002 contributions to candidates for Ohio Supreme Court Justice, 2003
- The Toledo Blade, "Incumbent says court must project 'image of stability'," September 28, 2008
- The Columbus Dispatch, "Maureen O’Connor commentary: Let's improve how judges are selected," May 26, 2013
- The Columbus Dispatch, "Chief-justice candidates spar over plan to trim budget," July 22, 2010
- Stanford University, "State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns," October 31, 2012