[Updated] Judicial Crisis Network Wants Conservative Maureen O’Connor To Exit the Chief Justice Race
This letter from the Judicial Crisis Network is quite important for Justice O’Connor to consider:
Justice Maureen O’Connor
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3431
Dear Justice O’Connor,
I am the Executive Director of the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening liberty and justice in America. Your best memory of JCN may be a 2008 television ad campaign which aired in Ohio wherein we focused on the judiciary in the Fall. However, we have also conducted extensive grassroots campaigns in Ohio via mail, telephone, email, and even phone text messaging. We are proud to have built a multi-tool database of over 400,000 Ohioans who have indicated they share our commitment to a restrained judiciary.
JCN began by focusing on the U.S. Supreme Court only, but recently broadened the scope of its mission to include judicial selection at the state level, and that is why I write you today.
Given the relatively narrow balance of the current Ohio Supreme Court, JCN has been particularly concerned about the ramifications of this year’s court elections.
You have played such an important part in restoring balance to that Court. We applaud your record. But, unfortunately, it cannot be taken for granted that the court will always enjoy a majority of judges like yourself. You can imagine our concern over the fact that your quest to become Chief Justice – if successful – will undoubtedly result in the addition of a liberal activist to the court since Governor Strickland would be given the opportunity to appoint your replacement. As one of our Ohio supporters recently quipped, “You win, and the people of Ohio lose.”
That fact was of somewhat less concern when it was conceivable that the liberal judicial activist Paul Pfeifer would be challenged by a primary opponent. Pfeifer’s defeat by a practitioner of judicial restraint would have maintained the Court’s current balance whether you won or lost. We thought a challenger would emerge, but, alas, none did and the calculus has therefore changed dramatically – it is no longer possible for the loss of your seat to be offset by the replacement of Justice Pfeifer.
The only way to maintain the current balance on the Court would be if you withdrew from the race for Chief Justice, pursuant to Section 3513.31 of the Ohio Revised Code, so that the Republican Party of Ohio can nominate a conservative candidate to replace you. This is the only possible way the people of Ohio would continue to receive the full benefit of your important presence on the Court, without having to suffer from the addition of a liberal judicial activist.
Your record on the Court speaks to your commitment to a jurisprudence that respects the rule of law, the Constitution, and the proper role of the courts in our system of governance. You have done so much good during your tenure. We are certain you do not want to see the benefit of that jurisprudence lost to the people of Ohio because of the inevitable result of your candidacy for Chief Justice.
On behalf of JCN and our supporters in Ohio, I urge you to search your conscience, which will lead to the inescapable conclusion that you should withdraw from the race for Chief Justice.
cc: Kevin DeWine, Chairman, Ohio Republican Party
cc: Kay Ayres, Vice Chairman, Ohio Republican Party