“Ohio’s next Supreme Court justices are likely to make important decisions that will impact public education in Ohio,” said OEA President Scott DiMauro. “OEA believes Ohio students and educators would be well-served by having Jennifer Brunner and John O’Donnell on the state’s highest court.”
Brunner, a former Ohio Secretary of State, has decades of legal experience in private practice and on the bench as both a state trial court judge and as a Tenth District Court of Appeals judge, where she wrote a dissenting opinion concerning the law (HB 70) that allows the state through an appointed “CEO” to decide when and how to take over troubled school districts. She urged that this law was unconstitutionally adopted and has the potential for irreparable harm to students, the teachers who teach them and Youngstown City School District. Judge Brunner said in her decision, “stability is prudent in protecting the educational interests” of students and the teachers who teach them in communities such as Youngstown.
“Judge Brunner’s clearly articulated position on the HB 70 question was heartening to OEA,” DiMauro said. “It’s one of many reasons why we look forward to having her on the Supreme Court.”
OEA believes Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell will also be a strong ally for quality public education if elected to the Ohio Supreme Court. Furthermore, he is committed to upholding a fair redistricting process when new legislative and political boundaries are drawn.
“Redistricting could be a contentious issue in Ohio,” said DiMauro, “and if legal challenges arise, the composition of the Supreme Court will be key to ensuring that Ohio’s voters will have a fair shake in deciding who should represent them in the legislature and in Congress, regardless of what neighborhood they call home.”
Education is a critical issue for Ohio’s voters. A recent statewide survey by Lake Research Partners found that 47 percent of independent voters say electing Supreme Court Justices who will ensure that Ohio politicians meet their obligations to support a strong system of public education, no matter what zip code a child may live in, is extremely important.