CityBeat: Skindell, O'Neill, Brown for Ohio Supreme Court

Ohio is a swing state, but there is very little in our state government that reflects that right now. Republicans dominate the General Assembly. Republicans dominate the governorship and other executive positions. The Ohio Supreme Court is no different.

Ohio is a swing state, but there is very little in our state government that reflects that right now. Republicans dominate the General Assembly. Republicans dominate the governorship and other executive positions. The Ohio Supreme Court is no different. It is currently dominated by Republican justices in a striking 6-1 margin.

To many, this might not seem like a huge deal. Most people can’t name one Supreme Court justice at the federal or state level. Most people don’t care. But courts make the big decisions. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned segregation in public schools with Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. The U.S. Supreme Court also overturned laws banning abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973.

State supreme courts can have just as big of an impact. Just like the U.S. Supreme Court decides the legality and constitutionality of federal laws, the Ohio Supreme Court decides the legality and constitutionality of state laws. 

That means the Ohio Supreme Court can affirm or repeal Ohio laws regulating abortion or limiting gay rights. The Ohio Supreme Court can rule on whether Gov. John Kasich should be allowed to carry out a privatization agenda. The court can rule on any Ohio law or regulation.

That makes the 6-1 divide between six Republicans and Democratic Justice Yvette McGee Brown all the more inappropriate. When these Republican justices decide on important state issues, they won’t be ruling for all Ohioans. The divide does not represent a state that is supposed to be down the middle. It’s time to restore some balance to the Ohio Supreme Court. For the Ohio Supreme Court, elect Mike Skindell and William O’Neill and re-elect Justice Brown.

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