Ohio Judicial Appointment Amendment (2011)

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Ohio Judicial Appointment Amendment did not make the 2011 statewide ballot in Ohio, as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The proposal called for the creation of a bipartisan selection panel that would recommend candidates to the governor for appointment. Justices would serve 2 years, after which a retention election will be held. During retention elections, justices will not face an opponent.[1]


Ohio is one of 21 states that elects their justices. In 1987, Ohio voters defeated the Ohio End the Direct Election of Appellate Judges, Issue 3 (1987), which proposed abolishing the election of Supreme Court and Appeals Court judges.[2]


Ohio Chief Justice Thomas Moyer was among the supporters of a "merit selection" system. Justice Moyer argued that a "merit system" would help reduce the influence of money in judicial election races. Barbara Howard, the president of the Ohio Bar Association, and Meg Flack, president of the League of Women Voters in Ohio, also support the proposed amendment.[1]


Ohio Right to Life was opposed to the proposed amendment. In a letter of opposition the group argued that the amendment would reflect the views of the elite and not of the general public.[3]

Path to the ballot

Supporters said they planned to attempt to place the measure via the legislature. In order to place the measure on the ballot, the proposed measure must garner support by 3/5 of lawmakers in the House and the Senate. However, supporters also have the option of proposing the measure as an initiated constitutional amendment. If that method is chosen, supporters will have to collect a minimum of 400,000 valid signatures. However, the measure did not get placed on the ballot.[1]

See also

Additional reading