Home > Jim Petro vs. Justice Maureen O’Connor for Chief Justice?

Jim Petro vs. Justice Maureen O’Connor for Chief Justice?

June 9, 2009 at 6:31 pm Matt

If reports are accurate, it appears former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro is running for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.

In recent years, despite the toxic political atmosphere, the Republicans have still found great success at the Supreme Court.

This could set Petro up for a potentially harsh primary battle against Justice Maureen O’Connor, a conservative who received more votes than anyone in 2008 with 2,970,588 (compared to Obama’s meager 2,708,685).

Petro was unavailable for comment, as he was busy making boat-loads of cash working for Stan Chesley, a major Democrat fundraiser and Cincinnati’s “Tiger Woods of torts.”

Related posts:

  1. Jim Petro is Not Running for Chief Justice
  2. [Updated] Judicial Crisis Network Wants Conservative Maureen O’Connor To Exit the Chief Justice Race
  3. Jim Petro Denies Dropping Out of the Chief Justice Race
  4. Jim Petro’s New Job
  5. The Judicial Crisis Network is Wrong about Justice O’Connor

  1. Scott Hall
    June 10th, 2009 at 12:07 | #1

    There’s a story out there in the Mansfield newspaper on this. In that story Petro cites Earl Warren as an example of someone who wasn’t a judge before becoming a justice on a Supreme Court.

    I’m sure that’s what all Republicans want to hear, “Elect me as Chief Justice…I’ll do as good of a job as Earl Warren.”

  2. Will
    June 10th, 2009 at 17:05 | #2

    Beautiful money quote, Scott.

    I was reminded of when Betty Montgomery lost re-election, and some fool reporter actually sat down and interviewed *her* on why the Ohio Republican Party was being voted out. The whole situation was just so rich and aromatic on so many levels. Obviously conservatives/small government types were to blame, blah blah blah…

  3. Paula
    June 10th, 2009 at 22:46 | #3

    As a former Petro supporter in all his past elections, I must say, this is not his time nor race. Besides Maureen O’Connor paying her dues sitting on the bench as a justice, she is a proven vote getter and can kick any Democrats butt for this position. I wish she would run for AG but since she has a passion for the court, Petro must step aside and run for her justice seat in 2012.

  4. Maureen
    June 10th, 2009 at 23:09 | #4

    Maureen O\’Connor knows somewhere around 1/100th as much about velcro as Chief Justice Moyer knows about the law, so she\’s a natural replacement!

  5. Maureen
    June 10th, 2009 at 23:18 | #5

    Maureen O’Connor is a true conservative judge because she voted against local control and home rule in favor of granting the state government almost limitless power to do whatever it wants!

  6. Will
    June 10th, 2009 at 23:20 | #6

    “…Justice Maureen O’Connor, a conservative who receivedmore votes than anyone in 2008 with 2,970,588 (compared to Obama’s meager 2,708,685).”

    Fascinating number, when you put that beside Obama’s vote get.

    So what’s her secret?

  7. George
    June 11th, 2009 at 20:30 | #7

    Maureen: Why the crack on her residency requirement stance? State or local, government is still government, which at its best is a necessary evil (h/t Paine). What about the freedom of the individual to live wherever he or she wishes, raise families, etc. regardless of vocation? Local control is no justification for social engineering practices.

  8. Danngoingdown
    June 11th, 2009 at 23:30 | #8

    Jim Petro is not going to run for Chief Justice. You heard it hear first, and you can take it to the bank.

    From a strategic viewpoint, it would be “better” for an outside Republican not currently on the Supreme Court to win the Chief Justice seat, because if O’Connor runs and wins, Strickland will be able to appoint a Democrat to fill her vacancy if he defeats Kasich, bringing the Court’s ideological split to 5-2.

    However, O’Connor would also be running “safe”, as Franklin County Probate Judge Eric Brown, the likely Democratic nominee, will be extremely difficult to beat, and will be extremely, extremely well funded.

  9. Scott Hall
    June 12th, 2009 at 07:23 | #9


    Whatever happens in the governor\’s race, Strickland will be able to appoint O\’Connor\’s replacement should she win the Chief Justice race. Given that Petro won\’t win a general election (the last person elected without prior judicial experience was Pfeifer, and look at the mistake that turned out to be), the question is would you rather have a Dem be Chief Justice or an associate justice?

  10. Danngoingdown
    June 12th, 2009 at 21:05 | #10

    Hmm – my understanding, which very well may be mistaken, was that the timing worked out so that if Kasich beat Strickland, he would be able to appoint O’Connor’s replacement.

  11. Paula
    June 13th, 2009 at 00:08 | #11

    Justice O’Connor would beat Petro, Eric Brown or Jennifer Brunner for the Chief Justice position. There is no doubt about this – look at her election numbers. By the way, Ohio will not like Eric Brown running for the Supreme Court while his wife is running for Secretary of State.

  12. Maureen
    June 13th, 2009 at 00:09 | #12


    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she took all kinds of union money and then handed them what they wanted, rather than follow legal precedent and the written law. That\’s JUDICIAL ACTIVISM. Maybe it\’s because she believes in the power of the state to absolutely preempt all acts of political subdivisions, even if only by implication and not by express act.

    The motivation behind the 1912 Ohio Constitution was home rule. Because of Maureen O\’Connor and her union buddies, it no longer exists. You can go read firefighter union lacky O\’Donnell\’s lame concurrence and claim it preserves home rule, but a concurrence has no power at all, and it is only there because Moyer and Lanzinger ripped them a new one.

    The judicial standards for home rule analysis are clear and the majority evaded them entirely, choosing instead to say clearly that anytime the legislature wants to pass a law to contradict a local ordinance, the legislature wins.

    You can be a \"Republican\" or you can be a \"conservative.\" People like Maureen O\’Connor and Terrence O\’Donnell make it impossible to be both in the state of Ohio. This is what happens when you elect judges–you begin to make ridiculous implied arguments like because a Supreme Court justice received more votes than the victorious candidate for president, people actually pay attention to and know a thing about the Supreme Court.

    In the 1980s, certain Democrats on the court may have let campaign donations dictate their opinions. Any objective observer can make the same charge of appearance of impropriety against the current Republican court. Chief Justice Moyer himself implied as much the other day in a Plain Dealer interview regarding the Supreme Court opinion regarding judge recusals from cases involving their political contributors.

    GOOD judges from any political background will agree on the law in the overwhelming majority of instances. I\’ve never heard anyone question the legal expertise of Thomas Moyer or Judith Lanzinger. I hear people from every part of the political spectrum (and those who shun politics altogether) question the legal talents of Maureen O\’Connor every day.

  13. Danngoingdown
    June 13th, 2009 at 20:29 | #13

    This is ridiculous commentary on the residency rule case here – the other Justices who voted in favor of striking the rule down are also beyond reproach in their legal talent – or do you think O’Donnell and Cupp are lightweights too?

    The fact of the matter is that the residency rule was being abused by dying Ohio cities to social engineer and trap their employees. The legislature was well within its right to strike the rule down statutorily. This is not even acknowledging the fact that home rule has increased the cost of Ohio’s local government by an unnacceptable amount while Ohio is dying and frankly it should be amended to be brought up to speed with modern times.

  14. River Rat
    July 8th, 2009 at 16:37 | #14

    If Jim Petro switches parties to challenge Maureen O’Connor as a Democrat in the General Election, he may be able to beat her. I do not see anyway he beats her in a Republican Primary race.

  15. River Rat
    July 8th, 2009 at 16:58 | #15

    If I were Maureen O’Connor, there are precious few Democrats I would be concerned about facing for Chief Justice – and 2 of them are probably out of the running.

    1. Lt. Governor Lee Fisher
    2. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner

    Either of these 2 would give Maureen a very tough race, but they are working against each other in the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate. Perhaps 1 of them will eventually drop out to run for Chief Justice.

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