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Election 2012: Ohio Supreme Court Justices

on November 1, 2012

In order to keep these summaries short and readable, I’m mostly going to provide you with links to information about the candidate and then offer a quick summary of my personal views on the candidates.

For Justice of the Supreme Court (Full term commencing 1-1-2013) – vote for one (1).

  • Terrance O’Donnell
  • Mike Skindell

Links to info about Terrance O’Donnell:

  1. Re-elect Terrance O’Donnell website (
  2. Supreme Court of Ohio – Terrance O’Donnell website (

Links to info about Mike Skindell:

  1. election website (
  2. Ohio Senate – Mike J. Skindell website (

My View

Of these two candidates, O’Donnell has a longer history as a judge (Common Pleas and Eight District Court of Appeals) before becoming a Supreme Court Justice.  He is currently running for re-election.  Skindell, on the other hand, has a plethora of experience as a legislator serving in the Ohio State House of Representatives and the Ohio State Senate.  He has no judicial experience. Both candidates have at least the minimum required 6 years of law practice experience.

I will be voting for O’Donnell primarily because he has more judicial experience and hasn’t been in the legislative branch of Ohio government.    In addition, O’Donnell appears to have strong ties to the Catholic and Christian communities, which is valuable to me.

For Justice of the Supreme Court (Full term commencing 1-2-2013) – vote for not more than one (1)

  • Robert R. Cupp
  • William M. O’Neill

Links to info about Robert R. Cupp:

  1. Ohio Supreme Court – Robert R. Cupp website (
  2. Re-elect Cupp website (

Links to info about William M. O’Neill:

  1. Bill O’Neill election website (

My View

Based on the Issues section of his campaign website, O’Neill indicates that one of his major concerns and motivations is that current Supreme Court Justices are hearing cases related to donors to their campaigns for re-election.  He specifically calls-out his opponent, Cupp, for this offense.  O’Neill also has a wide variety of experience not limited to the legal profession – including being an iron worker and, currently, a pediatric nurse at Hillcrest Hospital.  He does have the required legal degree and 10 years of experience on the 11th District Court of Appeals.

Cupp has a variety of legal and legislative experience, including experience as a prosecutor, assistant director of law, private practice, and about 15 years as an Ohio State Senator.
His election website does not address the issue of campaign financing that O’Neill raises against him.

Mostly because I firmly believe that there should be a separation of the legislative and judicial branches, I am inclined to support O’Neill because he doesn’t have extensive legislative experience.  However, this is not a strong inclination as I weigh that against a lack of experience in the legal field (as compared to Cupp).

For Justice of the Supreme Court (Unexpired term ending 12-31-2014) – Vote for no more than one (1)

  • Yvette McGee Brown
  • Sharon L. Kennedy

Links to info about Yvette McGee Brown:

  1. Justice Yvette election website (
  2. Supreme Court of Ohio – Yvette Brown website (

Links to info about Sharon L. Kennedy:

  1. Sharon L. Kennedy election website (
  2. Domestic Relations Court – Hon. Sharon L. Kennedy (

My View

I firmly believe in the principles and values set forth in our nation’s Constitution.  Kennedy’s election website opens with her statement of commitment to upholding the Constitution.  I must  say simply, I like that.  In addition, Kennedy has extensive experience in Domestic Relations Court and in private practice, plus experience “on the ground” as a police officer before earning her law degree.   I think her experience as an officer and in the Domestic Relations Court make her well-suited to the Ohio Supreme Court.

However, I must also give credit to Brown’s experience, both as a Common Pleas Court judge and as the founder and manager of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  She left the legal profession for a time to take on this role, primarily to help children.  In addition, Brown does have some experience on the Ohio Supreme Court as she was appointed to fill a vacated justice seat by the governor in January of 2011.

The choice between these two is a difficult one, and I think I would lean towards Brown because of previous experience on the Ohio Supreme Court.

Additional Resources:

The Ohio Supreme Court – Justices:


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