Judicial Reform

A 2014 poll by the Bliss Institute at the University of Akron found that three-fifths of registered voters say that the most common reason they don’t vote for judges is a lack of knowledge about the candidate. Ohio has had some of the most expensive Supreme Court elections in the country. Partisan arm wrestling and the oversized financial influence of those with issues before the Court has led many to assume judicial bias. In 2006 the New York Times noted that even sitting judges had begun to question the system.  Republican Justice Paul Pfeifer said, “I never felt so much like a hooker down by the bus station in any race I’ve ever been in as I did in a judicial race. Everyone interested in contributing has very specific interests.”

In February 2015, Justice Bill O’Neill, a Democrat, questioned the court’s bias in a fracking case, “What the drilling industry has bought and paid for in campaign contributions they shall receive.”

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