COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Republicans won all three races for Ohio’s Supreme Court on Tuesday. Justices Pat DeWine and Pat Fischer will serve another term as Justice Sharon Kennedy will step into the chief justice seat in January after defeating Justice Jennifer Brunner.
“We fell short, but I am grateful for your support and will continue to work to ensure that justice can be a reality for all of us,” said Brunner in a statement. “There are four more years in my current term on the Ohio Supreme Court. I will continue to fight to protect our rights and make the administration of justice more accountable for all Ohioans.”
“Transparency. So many people say that they really do not understand what their courts do,” Justice Kennedy said. “And for me it is allowing them to understand and see what their judges do.”
Kennedy emphasized transparency in how the judicial system works can help ease the process for Ohioans, but she said she wants to do more to make the system better.
“The backlog of cases, my promise to [Ohioans] was that on day one I would begin examining those issues and help the judges overcome whatever issues their facing to help move the cases through the system,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said she has already start laying the groundwork for one of her top priorities.
“It is about helping those who are marginalized actually live their life fulfilled,” Kennedy said. “As I said tonight, my first focus would be on task force for re-entry, so toured two prisons and was sitting at the veterans pond talking with the veterans.”
Justice Pat DeWine said his priority is about safety.
“The biggest issues confronting the Ohio Supreme Court right now are public safety issues,” Justice DeWine said.
Republicans have maintained a majority on the Ohio Supreme Court for the last several decades, but Kennedy and Justice DeWine said that shouldn’t matter.
“I’m someone who believes that judge should apply the law as written,” Justice DeWine said. “I don’t think judges should go legislate from the bench, I don’t think judges should impose their own policy preferences.”
“It is going by the text as it was commonly understood at the time it was written and most,” Justice Kennedy said. “Ohioans agree with that, they do not want judges making decisions based on personal feelings or political views.”