Ohio’s heartbeat law is currently being challenged at the state supreme court by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. At the same time, the composition of the supreme court, will depend on the outcome of the three races that are on the ballot this November. In Ohio, supreme court justices are elected on a party platform, which means that their positions on issues such as abortion are usually known. All Republicans running for office (all three are incumbents) have given local pro-lifers reasons to believe they are pro-life, all three Democrats are anti-life.
Republicans Hold a Narrow 4-3 Majority
Ohio’s Supreme Court currently has a 4-3 Republican majority, but this November three out of the seven seats will be up for election. and all three of those seats are currently occupied by Republican judges. One of the judges, Maureen O’Connor will not be seeking reelection because of age limits which prevent judges from seeking another term after their 70th birthday. The other two incumbents, Republicans Pat Fischer and Pat Dewine will be running again.
Election of the Chief Justice
For Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor’s seat the election will pit a Republican supreme court associate judge, Sharon L. Kennedy against the democrat supreme court associate judge, Jennifer L. Brunner.
Jennifer Brunner has openly declared herself to be anti-life, pro-LBGBTQ, in favor of climate justice (whatever that means), and has voiced the required BLM mantra about systemic racism.
On the other hand Sharon L. Kennedy has favored the scientifically and morally correct view that the child in the womb is a human being, she has resisted the push to create special rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and has disagreed with decisions to make it easier for persons charged with crimes to be released on bail.
Both Brunner and Kennedy are currently associate justices on the Ohio Supreme Court, this means that if the Republican were to win the Chief Justice’s seat, then Republican Governor Mike Dewine (who is running for reelection but is well ahead in the polls) would get to appoint another Republican to fill the seat vacated by Kennedy and thus maintain the current 4-3 majority. However, if Democrat Justice Brunner were to win, the governor would still be able to replace her vacated associate justice seat with a Republican, maintaining the 4-2 majority.
Pat Dewine and Pat Fischer’s Seats
It is clear that the highest stakes are in the races of Republican incumbent judges Pat Dewine and Pat Fischer. Both hold very small leads in recent polls.
Running against Pat Dewine is Marilyn Zayas a Democrat judge from Ohio’s 1st District Court of Appeals who is endorsed by anti-life, LGBT and jailbreak groups.
Running against Pat Fischer is Terry Jamison, another anti-life, anti-family, pro jailbreak judge from Ohio’s 10th District Court of Appeals.
Abortion to Be Decided by State Judges not Legislatures
What is becoming increasingly clear is that instead of returning abortion to the people and the states, as the Supreme Court in Dobbs intended, the life and death decisions have been handed off from one group of men and women in black robes in Washington Dc, to another group in the state capitols of the various states.
In Ohio, at least, the people will get to choose who wears the robes and makes the decision of life and death.
We hope American ProLifers in Ohio turn out in masse and make their voices heard during the November elections. If not, Ohio will find itself with a mini-Roe v. Wade decision at the state supreme court level that establishes a right to kill preborn children.
In most states, after Dobbs, State Judicial Reform is a Life and Death Issue, not so in Ohio, where the people will vote. But will they vote for life?