Back to Top

JUDGE BRUNNER IN THE NEWS

Friday, November 27, 2020 8:51 PM

It's official - we broke gerrymandering in Ohio . . .

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

THANK YOU.

It's official.  Yesterday, the Ohio Secretary of State certified Ohio's election results.  Our  collective work in this race for the Ohio Supreme Court created a bright spot for Ohio.  We defeated an incumbent justice.  And in doing so we broke Ohio's gerrymandered Congressional districts.  Take a look:

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court


Friday, October 30, 2020 8:33 AM

Take a Look at Our TV Ad and Vote!

Our television ad is up and running throughout Ohio.  Take a look, and please vote!  Speak with your vote--it's your loudest voice.  

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd. Polling places in Ohio are open from 6:30 a.m. through 7:30 p.m.  As long as you are in line by 7:30 p.m., you can vote. 

Information about voting is available on my campaign website.  Early voting is underway in Ohio! You can vote early in person at your Board of Elections. If you’ve already received an absentee mail-in ballot, return it in person to your local board of elections (a relative can return it for you, too, and every board has a drop box) or mail it with a postmark (ask the post office to hand stamp it) no later than Monday, November 2nd. 

You can get email updates here, contribute here, or ActBlue link is here


Wednesday, October 28, 2020 3:43 PM

OHIO DEMOCRATIC PARTY FILES COMPLAINT OVER “MISLEADING” DARK-MONEY AD ATTACKING OHIO SUPREME COURT CANDIDATE

For Immediate Release:

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020

CONTACT: Kirstin Alvanitakis, kirstin@ohiodems.org, 919.923.4055

COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Democratic Party today filed a complaint with the Ohio State Bar Association’s Judicial Election Campaign Advertising Monitoring Committee requesting it review the Republican State Leadership Committee’s commercial for its misleading content that impugns the integrity of Judge Jennifer Brunner and two sitting members of the Ohio Supreme Court.

The complaint also calls on Justices Sharon Kennedy and Judi French to adhere to their “clean campaign pledge,” disavow the advertisement and publicly call on the RSLC to discontinue airing it.

“If Justices Sharon Kennedy and Judi French are going to make ‘clean campaign pledges,’ then they are obliged to adhere to them,” said Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Greg Beswick. “This is straightforward -- the ad makes false statements, has been judged to be ‘misleading’ by an independent fact checker and impugns a sitting appellate judge and candidate, along with two current members of the Ohio Supreme Court. The Ohio State Bar Association must take action, and Kennedy and French must publicly disavow this ad and demand it be taken down.”

###

Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party (http://ohiodems.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020 4:02 PM

Campaign Ad Watch: GOP group's attack on Brunner misleading in race for Ohio Supreme Court

Randy Ludlow - The Columbus Dispatch

Published 1:23 p.m. ET Oct. 27, 2020 | Updated 2:56 p.m. Oct. 27, 2020

The ad: A 30-second commercial from the Republican State Leadership Committee, a tax-exempt nonprofit that spends millions of dollars nationally to support Republicans running for state judicial and down-ticket offices, that attacks Ohio Supreme Court candidate Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat.

Analysis: The implication that Brunner, who is running against French, freed a child predator is misleading. The ad concerns her ruling in a 2-1 10th District Court of Appeals decision involving Lawrence Dibble, a former teacher at Wellington School in Upper Arlington. He pleaded no contest in 2013 to 17 felony counts of voyeurism and was sentenced to four years in prison. 

Brunner and Judge Gary Tyack, a Democrat running against incumbent Republican Ron O'Brien for Franklin County prosecutor, ruled in 2017 that police conducted an "unreasonable search" of Dibble's home for incriminating videos of girls undressing.(O'Brien also is using the case to attack Tyack in a TV commercial.)

The appellate decision was not about the prison sentence of Dibble, who was freed three years into his sentence by a trial court judge and placed on house arrest while his case was on appeal.


Saturday, October 17, 2020 3:58 PM

KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES: JENNIFER BRUNNER

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

Jennifer Brunner

FROM THE CIRCLEVILLE HERALD, October 15, 2020: Brunner, 63, has a bachelors degree in sociology-gerontology from Miami University where she graduated cum laude and a law degree from Capital University with honors. 

Describe what is motivating you to seek office: Ohio voters have adopted a new process for drawing Congressional and state legislative districts, which happens every ten years, the year after each census. I decided to run for the Ohio Supreme Court because I want to serve my state in fairly applying constitutional requirements in any challenge of the fairness of these new maps. I want to help end gerrymandering in Ohio.

* * *

If elected what are your goals for your term? My goals are to assist with the development of a statewide database of criminal justice sentencing, convictions, prosecutions, bonds, indictments, arrests and more that could reveal disparity in sentencing across the state for criminal defendants whose crimes and criminal records are similar. Disparity would be categorized according to demographic factors such as race, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, income, education, zip code and more. This would allow the Ohio Supreme Court to define the problem for courts in Ohio and begin to tackle solutions to ending systemic racism in the state’s criminal justice system. Overall, I want to apply my judicial philosophy based in my philosophy of public service, that all persons are entitled to fairness, equality and respect.

* * *

Do you have any additional comments or message to relay to the public? In 2008, for my work as Secretary of State to protect and improve Ohioans’ voting rights, I received from the bipartisan board of the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, the Profile in Courage Award for protecting the voting rights of Ohioans. My commitment to the people of this state remains as strong as ever.


Saturday, October 17, 2020 12:40 PM

Ohio Supreme Court Judicial Candidates Forum Airs Statewide

.

The Ohio Supreme Court Judicial Candidates Forum was presented by The Ohio Debate Commission, a coalition of news organizations, universities and civic groups that encourage respectful civic dialogue.  ODC's Ohio Supreme Court Judicial Candidates Forum program was recorded live-to-tape Friday, October 9, 2020.  The moderators are Curtis Jackson, anchor at Spectrum News, and Karen Kasler, Ohio Public Radio and TV Statehouse News Bureau Chief.  The forum was virtual, with candidates joining via the web.  Four candidates are in races for two seats on the Supreme Court of Ohio.  Incumbent Justice of The Supreme Court of Ohio Sharon Kennedy is challenged by Judge John P. O’Donnell of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. And incumbent Justice Judi French of The Supreme Court of Ohio faces challenger Judge Jennifer Brunner of the Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals.


Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:28 AM

Letter: Ohio’s top picks for Supreme Court

For non-lawyers, it can be hard to excited about the law. But I’m tremendously excited about two candidates for Ohio Supreme Court, on the ballot Nov. 3. These candidates are Judge Jennifer Brunner and Judge John O’Donnell (each running for a separate seat). They bring an amazing wealth of experience and knowledge to the important job of Ohio Supreme Court Justice. Even more than that, they bring a sense of fairness, compassion, and concern for the State of Ohio. I urge everyone to vote to Judge Brunner and Judge O’Donnell for Ohio Supreme Court.

Judge Brunner has a history in our area — her husband went to Ohio Northern — and recently visited Hardin County. She has served as Ohio Secretary of State and understands government at every level. Judge O’Donnell has presided over more than 2000 commercial cases and received a rating of “highly recommended” from the Ohio State Bar Association.

In the next few years, the Ohio Supreme Court will decide political districts as well as civil cases that affect business and consumer interests. Jennifer and John will look out for Ohioans — cast your vote for them November 3!

Maya Fischhoff, Ada

As published in the Lima News and the Ada Icon, October 15 and 16, 2020


Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:25 AM

Ohio Supreme Court candidates talk impartiality, inequity

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

As published in the Pomeroy Daily Sentinental

By Susan Tebben - Ohio Capital Journal

The roles Ohio Supreme Court justices should avoid are just as important as the roles they do play, according to justices and the judges vying for two spots on the state’s highest court.

In a recent forum hosted by the Ohio Debate Commission, Justice Sharon Kennedy, Justice Judith French, and their challengers, Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas judge John P. O’Donnell and Tenth District Court of Appeals judge Jennifer Brunner, came together to talk about the three branches of government, impartial justice and inequity in the legal system.

The two statewide races — the only statewide races apart from the race for president — could swing the balance of power on the court, which is currently controlled by Republicans 5-2, including incumbents French and Kennedy.

* * *

As the justice system continues to adapt to social distanced court proceedings and online hearings, the judges and justices said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out creativity and innovation in the judiciary, something that will be necessary as the pandemic continues, and as more permanent accessibility to the justice system is demanded.

“The increased use of video, the increased use of broadband, and the increased access to broadband especially in the rural areas, will be key to providing this for the future,” Brunner said.

This story shared for republication by, and with permission from, the Ohio Capital Journal, an independent, nonprofit news organization. For more information go to www.ohiocapitaljournal.com

 


Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:00 AM

DEMOCRATS COULD FLIP THE OHIO AND MICHIGAN SUPREME COURTS

By Joshua Vaughn for The Appeal

Shifting control of the states’ highest courts next month will prove critical on a number of major issues, including redistricting in 2021.

A handful of down-ballot races in Ohio and Michigan could determine each state’s partisan and political makeup for the next decade.

Democratic candidates in both states are vying to take over seats on their Supreme Courts in November to flip the ideological majority from conservative to liberal. Justices for the Ohio Supreme Court serve six-year terms and justices in Michigan serve for eight years.

In Ohio, Judge Jennifer Brunner, who serves on the 10th District Court of Appeals, is looking to unseat incumbent Judith French. John P. O’Donnell, a trial court judge in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, is challenging incumbent Sharon Kennedy.

The court is currently made up of five Republicans—including French and Kennedy—and two Democrats. (While candidates for supreme court justice can be affiliated with a political party, their names appear on the ballot without that affiliation.) If both Brunner and O’Donnell win, it would shift the balance of the court 4-3 in favor of the Democrats for “the first time in a generation,” Jessica Dickinson, outreach manager for the nonpartisan Ohio Fair Courts Alliance, told The Appeal. 

And because the state will redraw its districts in 2021, Dickinson said control of the state Supreme Court will be pivotal to future political battles. Republicans have enjoyed a heavily gerrymandered congressional map in Ohio over the last decade. Even though President Barack Obama won the state in 2012, he only carried four of its 16 congressional districts.

 


Saturday, October 17, 2020 9:30 AM

Ohio Supreme Court Candidates Square Off On Issues, Ethics

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

The view from the bench at the Ohio Supreme Court

By   OCT 13, 2020

From the Statehouse New Bureau, Ohio Public Radio

Way down at the bottom of the Ohio ballot are two important races – two seats on the Ohio Supreme Court. These are non-partisan races on the ballot, but there are differences between the Republican incumbents and their Democratic challengers.

The two met for a virtual forum to discuss their views on issues such as their role on the judiciary.  . . . [I]n this forum, organized by the Ohio Debate Commission, were . . . : Republican Justice Judi French, first appointed to the court in 2012 from the 10th District Court of Appeals, and current Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat and the only woman to ever serve as Ohio’s secretary of state.

* * *

“My job is as a judge is to be an umpire, to call balls and strikes. It's not to bring my own personal biases into the cases in front of us. And that is that there are times when I may not like the result at all," French said.

“Those who are officers of the court are really problem solvers. We help people. And that is the crux of our profession. We're specially trained to understand what rule of law means and to help interpret it and help people use it to solve their problems peaceably," said Brunner.

* * * 

But if Brunner and O’Donnell both unseat the incumbents, it would be the first time since 1993 that there would be Democratic majority on the Ohio Supreme Court. For part of that year, there were four Democratic justices: Herbert Brown, Alice Robie Resnick, Francis Sweeney and William Sweeney.


Saturday, October 17, 2020 8:38 AM

Ohio Supreme Court Not Powerless, Political Makeup Crucial

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

Opinion from the Columbus Dispatch and the Butler County Journal-News, October 11, 2020

By Tom Suddes, Contributed Commentary

Depending on what voters decide, injured Ohioans, and Ohio’s utility customers, might, or might not, come out ahead in November.  Two of the Ohio Supreme Court’s seven members are running for reelection: Republican Justices Judith French and Sharon Kennedy.

Democratic Judge Jennifer Brunner, of the Ohio Court of Appeals (10th District), is challenging Justice French’s re-election. Democratic Judge John P. O’Donnell, of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, is challenging Justice Kennedy’s re-election.

The Supreme Court is now 5-2 Republican. If Brunner and O’Donnell win, the court would be 4-3 Democratic,

Ohioans are supposed to think their Supreme Court doesn’t have much leeway in making decisions: The Ohio Revised Code is just a big cookbook, and justices merely follow its recipes.

Big Business, Big Insurance and Big Utilities know better: The court’s political makeup can be crucial in keeping things the way they are in Ohio. Maybe, though, keeping things the way they are isn’t the way things should be.

* * *

Then consider the “heads I win, tails you lose” doctrine Ohio’s Supreme Court follows when it overturns a utility rate that had been OK’d earlier by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

* * *

So: You’re a customer. You’ve been paying the now-overturned rate. You, the over-charged customer, get a refund, right?

Wrong: You don’t. A musty Ohio law, dating back to at least 1911, in a bill creating what’s now the PUCO, forbids refunds.

* * *

Justices French and Kennedy concurred in that 2014 no-refund opinion, written by a third Republican, then-Justice Judith Lanzinger.


Saturday, October 17, 2020 8:00 AM

Voters to determine two seats on Ohio Supreme Court in November

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

Two Republican incumbents are facing off against two Democratic challengers.

 

The men and women who sit on the Ohio Supreme Court make decisions that touch the lives of every Ohioan from school funding to the legislative congressional districts to the death penalty.

There are seven seats on the Ohio Supreme Court. Two of those seats are up for grabs this year. Two Republican incumbents are facing off against two Democratic challengers.

Supreme Court Justice Judith French is the incumbent taking on Jennifer Brunner, a former Secretary of State, and currently serving on the 10th District Court of Appeals.

French calls herself a "judicial conservative" and promises to apply the law and won't legislate from the bench.

She argued the landmark 2002 U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld the constitutionality of using tax dollars to send students to private and religious schools.

Judge Brunner paints herself as someone who has never been appointed as a judge unlike her opponent, saying she's had to win every election.

She credits her expertise in election law, and international law, as traits that separate her from her opponent.

Both Brunner and French see sentencing reform as critical for racial justice in Ohio.

The other open seat pits Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy against Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell.

O'Donnell is perhaps the most controversial of the candidates running.
In a 2015 bench trial ruling, he acquitted Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo in the 2012 shooting deaths of Black motorists Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. 

This will be his third time running for a seat on the Supreme Court.

Justice Kennedy was a police officer before becoming a judge. She believes judges should "interpret the law, not re-write it from the bench."

Kennedy wrote a dissenting opinion in May 2020 in a case involving the constitutionality of a 2015 law that allowed the state of Ohio to take over academically struggling Youngstown City Schools.

Kennedy believed a section of the constitution "leaves it up to the legislature, not the courts, to decide" the rules.

Her opponent disagreed saying, it amounts to a "let's just trust legislators" to uphold their oath of office.

O'Donnell also criticized Kennedy's position on two cases in which she would have allowed utilities to keep $500 million in fees that were ruled improper.

Both Kennedy and O'Donnell acknowledge the need to address racial inequities and unfair sentences.

Three of the candidates, Kennedy, French and O'Donnell, have declined to step aside on cases before the court where a party has donated more than $1,000 to their campaign in the prior 12 months. 

Brunner has side-stepped the question saying " judges are not supposed to make promises about their judicial conduct."

Since 1986, the gavel at the Ohio Supreme Court has been controlled by Republicans but this November it could switch from 5-2 Republican to 4-3 Democrat.

More on each candidate:

Judith L. French

Current Position: Ohio Supreme Court Justice

Major Endorsements

  • Ohio Business Roundtable
  • Ohio Chamber of Commerce
  • Ohio Federation of Independent Business
 

Education:

Obtained three degrees from the Ohio State University:

  • Bachelors in Political Science, 1984
  • Master’s in Military History and Strategic Studies, 1986
  • Juris Doctor cum laude from the Moritz College of Law
 

Career:

  • Associate, Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur in Columbus
  • Associate Counsel, Steelcase Corp., Grand Rapids, MI
  • Deputy Director, Ohio EPA
  • Section Chief and Chief Counsel to Ohio Atty. Gen. Betty Montgomery.
  • Chief Legal Counsel to Governor BobTaft
  • Judge, Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals
  • Justice, Ohio Supreme Court
 

Notable Achievements

  • Argued and won the Cleveland school vouchers case before the U.S. Supreme Court providing additional educational opportunities for disadvantaged Ohio students.
  • Authored more than 800 legal opinions while serving on the Court of Appeals.
 

Jennifer Brunner

Current Position:

Judge, Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals

Major Endorsements

  • Matriots
  • Ohio Education Association
  • Service Employees International Union
  • Stonewall Democrats of Ohio

Education:

  • Graduate of Miami University. cum laude
  • Obtained law degree at Capital University, with honors.
 

Career:

  • Founded law firm
  • Judge, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas
  • Ohio Secretary of State
  • Judge, Tenth District Court of Appeals
 

Notable Achievements

  • John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award
  • As Secretary of State, advocated for voting reforms including same day registration and voting.
  • Author of memoir, Cupcakes and Courage, about growing up in Ohio and her various political campaigns.
 

Personal

Born in Springfield, grew up in Columbus. Married with three children.

Sharon L. Kennedy

Current Position:

Justice, Ohio Supreme Court

Major Endorsements

  • Ohio Business Roundtable
  • Ohio Chamber of Commerce
  • Ohio Right to Life PAC
  • Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio
 

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, University of Cincinnati
  • Juris Doctor, University of Cincinnati
 

Career:

  • Attorney in private practice
  • Police Officer, Hamilton, OH
  • Director, Victim/Witness Division, Hamilton County Common Pleas Court
  • Disciplinary Counsel, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 38
  • Special Counsel to Atty. Gen. Betty Montgomery
  • Warrant and Compliance Officer, Butler County Juvenile Court
  • Magistrate and warrant officer, Butler County area courts
  • Judge, Butler County Common Pleas Court
  • Administrative Judge, Butler County Common Pleas Court Domestic Division
 

Notable Achievements

  • Alumni Achievement Award, University of Cincinnati College of Law
  • Organized and led budget study group to improve Butler County finances
  • Before law school, served as on-the-street patrol office in Hamilton, OH
 

John P. O’Donnell

Current Position:

Judge, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court

Major Endorsements

  • United Auto Workers
  • Ohio Association of Public School Employees
  • Ohio AFL-CIO
 

Education:

  • Graduate of Miami University
  • Juris Doctor, Cleveland Marshall College of Law
 

Career:

  • Before law school, worked as an insurance adjuster
  • Private practice of law
  • Cincinnati Staff Counsel
  • Judge, Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas
 

Notable Achievements

  • Member, Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
  • Member, Board of Directors of Cleveland Law Library Association
  • Member, Board of Directors of Lakewood City Academy


Saturday, October 17, 2020 6:00 AM

French, Brunner vie for Ohio Supreme Court seat

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court
JIM PROVANCE
The Blade, September 27, 2020 4:55 p.m.

COLUMBUS — With partisan control of the Ohio Supreme Court at stake for the first time in decades, one of two seats on the Nov. 3 ballot pits an eight-year Republican incumbent against a Democratic former secretary of state.

Justice Judith French, 58, of Grandview Heights, is seeking her second full six-year term after first being appointed to a vacancy in 2013 by then-Gov. John Kasich.

Jennifer Brunner, a 10th District Court of Appeals judge who served as Ohio secretary of state from 2007 to 2011, is offering high-profile opposition at a time when Democrats are outnumbered 5-2 on the bench.

“If voters care what party judges or justices are, [party affiliation] will matter to them,” Judge Brunner, 63, of Columbus, said. “To me, it's often the party background and experience that inform someone's approach. What's most important to me is what's coming up.

* * * 

Judge Brunner served on the Franklin County Common Pleas bench for five years, resigning in 2005 to successfully run for secretary of state. She opted not to seek re-election in 2010 and instead ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

She then worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development as a consultant on campaign finance, elections, and ballot issues in Serbia in 2012 and worked with post-war Serbian misdemeanor court judges to rebuild public trust in election systems.

She was elected to the 10th District bench in 2014, defeating a Republican incumbent.

“When I was a candidate for the U.S. Senate, I was required to give views on issues,” Judge Brunner said. “I've done a lot of living in the last 10 years. I've worked overseas in countries on the rule of law. I know the best way I can serve my state and country is to be a judge. My life experiences inform my perspective. My fealty and loyalty is to the rule of law.”

She points to her experience as an attorney in election law, as secretary of state, and on trial and appellate court benches.

Justice French “has never had a witness sit three feet away in handcuffs after being brought from prison or jail,” Judge Brunner said. “...For every level, she was appointed and then won election. I have never been appointed in any election. For every one, I earned it.”

* * *

Justice Brunner said she prefers small contributions from a lot of people, rather than large donations from a few.

“Nothing touches me more than to receive $10, $25, or $50 from a retired postal worker or teacher,” she said. “They're obviously people I don't know, but it impresses upon me the importance of what I do.”

 
 


Friday, October 16, 2020 5:29 PM

CEOs of some of state’s largest employers asking workers to vote to keep Ohio Supreme Court ‘conservative’ for ‘job security’

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

Two Ohio Supreme Court seats are up Nov. 3: Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French (top row, left) is being challenged by Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals and former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (top row, right.) Justice Sharon Kennedy (bottom row, left) is being challenged by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell (bottom row, right.)

By Laura Hancock, cleveland.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Business Roundtable, an organization that seeks to work with the governor and General Assembly on policies to make the state more business-friendly, suggested that CEOs send their employees a series of emails that emphasize the importance of a “conservative” state Supreme Court.

The seven emails, intended to go into employees' inboxes through October, are to “underscore the importance to your business and their job security of having a stable Supreme Court,” according to a message to the CEOs sent by Pat Tiberi, a Republican former member of Congress who is the Business Roundtable’s president and CEO.

The Ohio Business Roundtable represents some of the state’s highest profile and largest companies. That includes FirstEnergy, Wendy’s and Honda. Tiberi said in his email the organization’s membership represents about 400,000 employees. It’s unclear how many actually are receiving emails.

The effort underscores how important the Ohio Supreme Court races have become ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

The court currently has five Republicans and two Democrats. With Republican Justices Judith L. French and Sharon L. Kennedy up for re-election, Republicans could lose their majority just before a congressional redistricting case could come before the court, following the 2020 Census. In addition to the effort from conservatives, the races have drummed up money and interest from the left as well.

French is being challenged by Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat and former Ohio secretary of state. Kennedy is being challenged by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell.

The Ohio Business Roundtable’s suggested email campaign ties people’s employment to the results of the Supreme Court election.

“You value stability in your job, just as we value stability in our business,” says email No. 3, which the business roundtable suggested CEOs send to their employees on Sept. 28.

“When our justices do that job well, our economy is stronger and our job security is greater,” says email No. 7, which is supposed to be sent out Oct. 28. “It’s just that simple.”

Bosses tying the Supreme Court races to their employees' ability to keep their jobs is a scare tactic, said Michael McGovern, managing director of left-leaning ProgressOhio, which is working to highlight what it perceives as a failed record for French and Kennedy.

“I think it’s really disappointing and shows the level of desperation from them to keep their friends in the Supreme Court who they think will look out for them,” McGovern said.

Rob Nichols, a spokesman for the Ohio Business Roundtable, said it stands by its campaign and a website it created called Ohio Prosperity, which is devoted solely to the Ohio Supreme Court races.

“It should come as no surprise that the Ohio Business Roundtable supports judicial candidates who show judicial restraint and who do not attempt to legislate from the bench,” Nichols said. “The Ohio Prosperity Project provides employers with objective, nonpartisan information about the candidates and how the Court can profoundly impact Ohio’s jobs climate, should they want to share the information with their stakeholders.”

The Ohio Business Roundtable emails don’t mention any Supreme Court candidate by name or political party, instead using the words “conservative” vs. “activist" judges. The Ohio Prosperity website, which the roundtable says is nonpartisan, provides biographical information on each candidate, mentioning it supports French and Kennedy.

It’s unclear which Ohio CEOs and leaders have participated in the Business Roundtable’s campaign.

A spokesman for Cleveland-based Key Bank, for instance, said the company didn’t participate. Cleveland Clinic also didn’t participate, a spokeswoman said.

Representatives from other Cleveland institutions, such as Cleveland State University, didn’t respond whether they sent the emails out to employees.


Friday, October 16, 2020 5:30 AM

Democratic nominees for Ohio Supreme Court decline to sign clean campaign pledge

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

The two Democratic nominees for Ohio Supreme Court, Judges Jennifer Brunner (top right) and John P. O'Donnell (bottom right), have said they won't sign the Ohio State Bar Association's clean campaign pledge this year. The two Republican incumbents they're facing, Judith French (top left) and Sharon Kennedy (bottom left), have signed the pledge. (File photos)

By Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The two Democrats running for Ohio Supreme Court this year have declined to sign the Ohio State Bar Association’s “clean campaign pledge," asserting that they want to point out that their Republican opponents will make conservative judicial rulings.

Republican incumbents Judith French and Sharon Kennedy have signed the pledge, which commits candidates to, among other things, disavow ads that attempt “to lead voters to believe that a candidate will decide issues or cases in a predetermined manner.”

In a letter to the state bar association, Brunner, a state appeals court judge and former Ohio secretary of state, stated that her opponent, French, has “widely stated” that she is a conservative.

“To voluntarily hinder myself from questioning or commenting on that as it applies to her approach to cases that come before her does no service to voters who, like me, question whether that affects her impartiality in deciding cases,” Brunner wrote.

She added that the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct’s section stating judicial candidates shouldn’t engage in “political or campaign activity that is inconsistent with the independence, integrity, or impartiality of the judiciary” is “sufficient” by itself, and that she will “not cede to any private actor (i.e., the Ohio State Bar Association) what is my responsibility for fair judicial conduct during a judicial campaign.”

O’Donnell, a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge, offered the same reason for not signing the pledge, according to a statement sent by his campaign.

“Neither of us have a need nor a desire to campaign negatively against our opponents, and we won’t,” O’Donnell and Brunner said in a joint statement.


Thursday, October 15, 2020 6:30 PM

Former Ohio Secretary of State now running for supreme court

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

ELECTION 2020: OHIO SUPREME COURT| Sept 20, 2020
By Laura A. Bischoff, Columbus Bureau

Democrat Jennifer Brunner makes the argument that she is uniquely qualified to sit on the Ohio Supreme Court next year when the high court is likely to decide a challenge over new legislative and congressional district maps.

Brunner, who currently sits on the 10th District Court of Appeals, served as Ohio Secretary of State, practiced as an elections law attorney and worked as an elections observer in other countries.

The Ohio Supreme Court has jurisdiction to settle challenges over the new political maps, which will be drawn in 2021 using the 2020 U.S. Census data. The court also is often asked to weigh in on voting rights cases.

“My work with elections in the United States, Ohio and overseas, as well as on judicial reforms, helps me understand how important it is for the rule of law to work for the people,” Brunner said.


Saturday, October 3, 2020 10:45 AM

Take a sneak peak at one or our new ads!

From Team Brunner -- We are one month away from Election Day and need your support to raise our ad buy. We are in a strong position to win on November 3, but we need to make sure voters across Ohio hear from Jennifer and vote.

Reaching voters where they are is an important part of our campaign. Since we can’t be together in person, it is even more important that we have the resources we need to communicate over the air.
 
Thanks for all you’re doing to help!
 
-- Team Brunner
 

P.S. Information about voting is available here on my campaign website. Access links to update your voter registration and download an application for an absentee ballot for the November 3, 2020 election. The sooner you mail in your application for a ballot, the earlier you will receive it after the close of voter registration on October 5, 2020. Early voting begins Tuesday, October 6, 2020!


Saturday, October 3, 2020 9:00 AM

Ohio State Supreme Court Judges forum on Oct. 7

From the Clermont Sun

October 1, 2020

There will be an online forum with Judge Jennifer Brunner and Judge John P. O’Donnell, candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court, on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. The forum can be seen and heard here.

People may submit questions to the candidates during the forum using Facebook Live chat.


Saturday, September 26, 2020 12:25 PM

COLLEGE REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS CAMPAIGN FOR NOVEMBER ELECTION DURING PANDEMIC

From The Ohio State University Lantern

September 24, 2020

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

Ohio State College Democrats meet virtually  Credit: Courtesy of College Democrats

College Democrats have hosted three phone banks since the start of the school year for Ohio Supreme Court candidate Judge Jennifer Brunner, Alaina Shearer for the 12th congressional district and Morgan Showen for the Ohio House of Representatives’ 54th district.

“We’re doing a lot of virtual initiatives to promote not just people registering to vote, but obviously voting for up-and-down-the-ticket Democrats, progressives in particular,” Ishwar said. “We’re just trying to flip Ohio blue.”


Wednesday, September 23, 2020 4:39 PM

Why it matters that panel denied stamp of approval for absentee ballots stamps

by Ohio political columnist Thomas Suddes

Republicans (and insurance companies and electric utilities) are nervous about this year’s two state Supreme Court races. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell, a Lakewood Democrat, is challenging the re-election of Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy, of Middletown. Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat on the Ohio Court of Appeals (10th District), is challenging the re-election of Republican Justice Judith French.


Saturday, September 19, 2020 3:44 PM

What Ruth Bader Ginsburg did for daughters and their dads

by Judge Jennifer Brunner

At age 17 I learned there would be a girls track team for the first time at my public high school in Columbus, Ohio.  I heard about something called "Title 9," a new law that required opportunities for girls to compete in sports as boys could, and more.  All I knew in my senior year in high school was that, finally, there was a varsity sport I could participate in as a girl, other than cheerleading. 

By my senior year, I had a job after school in addition to my studies and cheerleading.  When I heard about the formation of a girls track team I knew this was an opportunity I could not pass up, no matter how busy I was.  Since middle school I had run long distance with my dad, who, at his rural high school near Springfield, Ohio, held the record since the early 1950's for the fastest mile, not broken until after he died.

My high school really didn't know who to put in charge of our new girls' track team.  A female teacher stepped up to coach us, but she did not have experience as a track coach.  But, then, there was my dad. 


Saturday, September 12, 2020 9:03 PM

Achieving Justice Series - Pavan Parikh

"Achieving Justice" is an interview series to educate individuals about Ohio's judicial system and the judges and candidates for judge who serve and wish to serve their state and community.

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her seventeenth interview of this series, Judge Brunner interviews Attorney Pavan Parikh, judicial candidate for the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division.


Friday, September 11, 2020 10:28 PM

Achieving Justice Series - Jennifer Branch

"Achieving Justice" is an interview series to educate individuals about Ohio's judicial system and the judges and candidates for judge who serve and wish to serve their state and community.

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her sixteenth interview of this series, Judge Brunner interviews Attorney Jennifer Branch, judicial candidate for the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.


Friday, September 11, 2020 10:11 PM

The changing landscape of evictions in Franklin County

Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

By Joe Oliphint, Associate Editor

Columbus Alive

Posted Sep 11, 2020 at 12:01 AMUpdated at 8:34 AM

A landmark court decision that requires landlords to be present at eviction hearings, plus a recent CDC-issued moratorium on certain evictions through the end of the year, are drastically altering the way evictions are handled in 2020.

Tenants were required to show up for eviction proceedings, but landlords could evict by affidavit, a written statement. Franklin County was the only county in Ohio that permitted eviction by affidavit.

Last week, city leaders celebrated the court victory in a press event. “I want to publicly thank Judges Jennifer Brunner, Julia Dorrian and William Klatt for the courage to right a wrong, all together issuing the same opinion,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said.

 


Thursday, September 10, 2020 9:21 AM

Achieving Justice Series - Carl Aveni

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her fifteenth interview of this series, Judge Brunner interviews Attorney Carl Aveni, judicial candidate for the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.


Tuesday, September 8, 2020 3:30 PM

All 4 Ohio Supreme Court candidates will participate in a virtual forum Oct. 9

Democratic ex-Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (top right) will face Republican Justice Judith French (top left), while Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy (bottom left) is being challenged by Democratic Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell (bottom right).

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The four candidates running for the Ohio Supreme Court have agreed to participate in a virtual forum Oct. 9.

A previously announced Supreme Court debate Sept. 22 was canceled due to the court having scheduled cases, according to the nonpartisan Ohio Debate Commission, which is organizing the forum.

The forum’s participants will be Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy and challenger Democrat John P. O’Donnell, a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge; and GOP Justice Judith French, and Democratic challenger Jennifer L. Brunner, an Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals judge and former Ohio Secretary of State.

 


Tuesday, September 1, 2020 12:23 PM

Ohio 2020 election: Who's running for the Ohio Supreme Court?

Supreme Court of Ohio

Supreme Court of Ohio, photo by Doral Chenowith III, Columbus Dispatch

Jackie Borchardt  Cincinnati Enquirer

Published 10:06 p.m. ET Aug. 31, 2020 Updated 10:48 p.m. ET Aug. 31, 2020

COLUMBUS – Two of the seven seats on the Ohio Supreme Court are up for grabs this fall.

Democrats are hoping to flip the majority-Republican court to their favor. Republicans are hoping to keep two long-time jurists on the bench.

But the candidates' party affiliations won't appear on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. And many voters choose to skip the races after making their picks for president and other top-of-the-ballot races.

This year, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French, a Republican, faces a challenge from Judge Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat on the 10th District Appellate Court and former Ohio secretary of state. Justice Sharon Kennedy, a Republican, is opposed by Judge John P. O'Donnell, a Democrat on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.


Thursday, August 27, 2020 2:40 PM

Achieving Justice Series - Magistrate Anne Flottman

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals and candidate for Ohio Supreme Court. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her thirteenth interview of this series she interviews Magistrate Anne Flottman, judicial candidate for the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Monday, August 24, 2020 12:15 PM

Top Biden adviser likes how Ohio is shaping up for his man

By Randy Ludlow 
The Columbus Dispatch - August 19, 2020, Posted at 1:36 PM, Updated at 3:32 PM

With political control of the Ohio Supreme Court at stake this fall, the online event also featured the party’s pair of candidates — 10th District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Brunner and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell.

The pair is opposing Republican incumbents, with Brunner running against Justice Judith French and O’Donnell taking on Justice Sharon Kennedy. Wins by the Democrats would give them 4-3 control of the court; Republicans have held the majority since 1987.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said party polling shows Brunner with a 12-percentage-point lead and O’Donnell with an 8-point advantage.


Thursday, August 13, 2020 11:47 AM

Achieving Justice Series - Stacy Brooks

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals and candidate for Ohio Supreme Court. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her thirteenth interview of this series, Judge Brunner interviews Attorney Stacy Brooks, judicial candidate for the Fourth District Court of Appeals in Ohio.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020 11:47 PM

Achieving Justice Series - Marshall Lachman

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals and candidate for Ohio Supreme Court. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her twelfth interview of this series she interviews Marshall Lachman, judicial candidate for the Second District Court of Appeals in Ohio.


Sunday, August 9, 2020 3:57 PM

EDITORIAL: Debate is best bet to judge Supreme Court races

Judicial debate Ohio Supreme CourtBy Columbus Dispatch Editorial Board

Posted Aug 8, 2020 at 10:08 AM

This will be one of the most important supreme court election cycles in decades; the political balance of the seven-member court is at stake. Republicans now hold a 5-2 majority, but that could flip to a 4-3 Democratic edge if the two incumbents up for re-election lose. And these are the only statewide contests on the Ohio ballot.

We encourage all four candidates to participate in the debate.


Friday, August 7, 2020 7:07 PM

Achieving Justice Series - Judge John O'Donnell, Judge Terri Jamison, & Michael C. Mentel

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals and candidate for Ohio Supreme Court. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her eleventh interview of this series, she, along with fellow Ohio Supreme Court candidate, John O'Donnell, interview two Ohioans who are committed to public service, including Judge Terri Jamison of Franklin County's Domestic Relations Division of the Common Pleas Court, who is running to serve on the Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals, and former Columbus City Council President, Michael C. Mentel, an experienced attorney in both the public and private sectors, currently with Taft, Stettinius, and Hollister law firm in Columbus, Ohio.

 


Wednesday, August 5, 2020 4:27 PM

HRC Endorses For Ohio’s Legislature and State Supreme Court

By Lucas Acosta

August 5, 2020

The Human Rights Campaign announced the endorsement of champions of equality the Ohio State Legislature and statewide office. 

“Right now, over 389,000 LGBTQ Ohioans live under a patchwork of protections,” said HRC Ohio State Director Shawn Copeland. “Driving from Cincinnati to Cleveland, an LGBTQ person would have different rights in every town, city or county they drove through. That must change, and while the Bostock ruling has provided some important workplace protections, LGBTQ Ohioans are still at risk of discrimination in a variety of areas  . . . HRC will mobilize the over two million Equality Voters across the state to ensure we elect the strongest slate of pro-equality candidates as possible this November.”

HRC Endorsed Candidates include:

  • Jennifer Brunner (Supreme Court)
  • John O'Donnell (Supreme Court)


Thursday, July 30, 2020 12:25 PM

Achieving Justice Series - Judge Cynthia Westcott Rice

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her tenth interview of this series, she interviews Eleventh District Court of Appeals Judge Cynthia Rice, who is running for reelection.  The court is located in Warren, Ohio.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020 1:24 AM

Achieving Justice Series - Judge Chris Brown

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her ninth interview of this series, she interviews Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Chris Brown, who is running for reelection.  He is a judge in the court's general division.  The court is located in Columbus, Ohio.


Saturday, July 25, 2020 3:19 PM

Ohio Debate Commission organizing possible debate for Supreme Court candidates ahead of election

Democratic ex-Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (top right) will face Republican Justice Judith French (top left), while Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy (bottom left) is being challenged by Democratic Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell (bottom right).

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Ohio’s Supreme Court candidates for this fall have been invited to debate ahead of the November election, though organizers have not yet decided whether it will be virtual or in-person.

All campaigns are in conversation with the Ohio Debate Commission regarding participation, according to a news release.

The Ohio Debate Commission is organizing the Sept. 21 debate so that voters can be more informed on judicial candidates. Video of the event would be free for broadcast and live-streaming.


Friday, July 24, 2020 8:03 PM

Achieving Justice Series - Angela Alexander

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her eighth interview of this series, she interviews Angela Alexander, candidate for Stark County Probate Judge.  The court is located in Canton, Ohio.


Sunday, July 19, 2020 6:52 PM

Achieving Justice Series - Judge Myron Duhart

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her seventh interview of this series, she interviews Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge, Myron C. Duhart, a candidate for the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals, located in Toledo, Ohio.


Wednesday, July 15, 2020 4:45 PM

Americans Make America Great: VOTE . . . and help others access voting, too

AMERICANS make America great . . . and this election is your chance to prove it, no matter whom you vote for.

When I observed three Egyptian elections in 2014 and 2015 (constitutional referendum, presidential and parliamentary), it became clear from my discussions with Egyptian citizens and with soldiers guarding the polling locations that many Egyptians believed the American people to be good people, even though they did not necessarily like its government. They saw the American people as good-hearted and optimistic in spite of their government.
 
Here's what YOU can do about voting this fall . . . (click on headline to read full article)
 
 
 


Friday, July 10, 2020 2:45 AM

Achieving Justice Series - Sheryl Munson

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her sixth interview of this series, she interviews Franklin County public defender, Sheryl Munson a candidate for Franklin County Common Pleas Court, General Division, located in Columbus, Ohio.


Friday, July 10, 2020 2:39 AM

Achieving Justice Series - Joe Schiavoni

This "Achieving Justice" interview is conducted by Judge Jennifer Brunner, currently a judge of Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals. Judge Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. In her fifth interview of this series, she interviews former state senator and gubernatorial candidate, Joe Schiavoni, a candidate for Mahoning County Court Judge, located in Austintown, Ohio.


Friday, July 10, 2020 12:58 AM

Online Meet the Judges event planned for two Supreme Court candidates

From the Akron Beacon Journal

July 8, 2020

An online Meet the Judges event for two Ohio Supreme Court candidates will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday.

The event will feature candidates Jennifer Brunner and John O’Donnell and will be moderated by Kani Hightower, an Akron magistrate. It is sponsored by Crooked River Action and W.A.K.E.

Register in advance at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYkcO2orToiHtJbJnTq3-dBqfqMSUT0-_Wm. Participants will then receive an email with instructions for joining the event.


Monday, July 6, 2020 8:14 PM

The Matriots Announce 2020 General Election Endorsements

July 6, 2020 3:12 pm

By  Taijuan Moorman, Columbus Underground

The Matriots PAC has announced their endorsement of 63 women who are running for Ohio offices in 2020.

The Ohio nonpartisan political action committee will endorse women from 24 Ohio counties, 14 first-time candidates, 29 incumbents, two women running for sheriff (currently there is only one female sheriff in Ohio’s 88 counties) and one race in which opposing candidates have each been endorsed.

For statewide office, The Matriots endorse Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court.

For county-level seats, 16 Central Ohio candidates have been endorsed, including: Maryellen O’Shaughnessy for Franklin County Clerk of Courts, Anahi Ortiz for Franklin County Coroner, Cheryl Brooks Sullivan for Franklin County Treasurer, Kristin Boggs for Ohio House of Representatives District 18, Erica C. Crawley for Ohio House of Representatives District 26, as well as Stephanie L. Kunze and Crystal Lett for Ohio Senate District 16.

The Matriots has contributed nearly $145,000 to candidates so far in 2020, and has said it intends to make additional donations closer to the November general election.

For more information on candidates, visit matriotsohio.com/endorsements.


Monday, July 6, 2020 7:10 PM

Judge Jennifer Brunner Receives Endorsement of The Matriots PAC

Here's what The Matriots has to say about Judge Jennifer Brunner:

"Class of 2020 Endorsed Candidate: Jennifer Brunner

Jennifer Brunner is currently serving as an elected appellate judge in Columbus, Ohio, being reelected to this position in 2016. Brunner has experience as a state trial court judge, and was elected as the first woman Secretary of State in Ohio. She has earned multiple awards, including: the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2008; the Central Ohio Association for Justice George E. Tyack Judicial Excellence Award for performance as appellate judge in 2016; and the first recipient of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones Award for Northeast Ohio Chapter of the American Constitution Society in 2009. While her multitude of accolades and extensive participation in our community speak to her impressive nature, Brunner’s unwavering support of all human rights, and protection of the rule of law, demonstrates her steadfast ethics and enduring commitment to the betterment of Ohio."


Tuesday, June 30, 2020 1:28 PM

Ohio Federation of Teachers Endorses Judge Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court

This just in from Ohio Federation of Teachers: "'The Ohio Federation of Teachers has long admired and worked well with Jennifer Brunner. As Secretary of State and as a judge, Jennifer has supported protecting the rights of all Ohioans. We need a Justice who will ensure that the rights of white, black and brown people are heard and protected. We endorse Jennifer Brunner for the Ohio State Supreme Court,' says Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers."

A big thank you!


Friday, June 26, 2020 12:09 AM

Achieving Justice Series - Andy Miller

Today, my campaign continues our series "Achieving Justice." We have two great interviews to share with you. Please take a look.

Andy Miller is running for Franklin County Common Pleas Court. He's been a law professor, worked in private practice at a large law firm and litigated in the public sector for 7 years. 

We'll continue this series each week to help voters across Ohio learn about their judicial candidates. The ballot on November 3 will not have party affiliation next to judicial candidates' names, so if you care about that, educate yourself. Our "Achieving Justice" series will help you learn about Ohio's judicial system and its candidates.  Check out my website every Friday to see whom we've interviewed. I've met some amazing people, and so can you.



Thursday, June 25, 2020 11:55 PM

Achieving Justice Series - Ginger Bock

Today, my campaign continues our series "Achieving Justice." We have two great interviews to share with you. Please take a look.

Ginger Bock is running for the First District Court of Appeals, in Cincinnati. She's been a frequent practitioner in that court.

We'll continue this series each week to help voters across Ohio learn about their judicial candidates. The ballot on November 3 will not have party affiliation next to judicial candidates' names, so if you care about that, educate yourself. Our "Achieving Justice" series will help you learn about Ohio's judicial system and its candidates.  Check out my website every Friday to see whom we've interviewed. I've met some amazing people, and so can you.


Friday, June 19, 2020 4:40 PM

Juneteenth: "Achieving Justice" - with Judicial Candidate Magistrate Lasheyl Stroud from Franklin County

Today is Juneteenth. Its history is based in Texas, where on June 18, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived with 2,000 federal troops to occupy Texas for the federal government. The following day, General Granger stood on a balcony in Galveston and read "General Order No. 3", announcing that all slaves were totally emancipated. 

No one can doubt that this year is especially pivotal.  On Juneteenth, as we step back today to more fully comprehend what has happened since the death of George Floyd and so many others denied justice, it's sobering that we have let thoughtless ways go on for so long, not understanding how people have been unacceptably hurt, pushed down and pushed under.  So, for today, we celebrate, and we resolve to make justice for everyone more real.

As a judge, it is my duty to educate the public about the judiciary.  That's why I have started a video series in my campaign for the Ohio Supreme Court called, "Achieving Justice."  

 

Today, my campaign releases our video interview of Magistrate Lasheyl Stroud, a first-time candidate for a newly created domestic and juvenile judgeship in Franklin County, Ohio.  Please watch this video and remember that just by voting, you help achieve justice.  Your vote is your power.  


Thursday, June 18, 2020 6:55 PM

"Achieving Justice": Judge Jennifer Brunner Interviews Ohio Supreme Court Candidate Judge John P. O'Donnell from Cuyahoga County

Judge Brunner has formalized her ongoing series of interviews with judicial candidates throughout Ohio, calling it "Achieving Justice," and today releasing her video-recorded interview of Judge John P. O'Donnell, Judge of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, first elected in 2002, and then again in 2006 and 2012.  The Cuyahoga County court is one of Ohio’s busiest, and during that time Judge O’Donnell was selected by the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court to be one of only eight trial court judges in the state to preside over a commercial docket devoted strictly to business litigation. He has been responsible for over 2,000 commercial cases while still handling all other varieties of civil lawsuits and a felony criminal docket. He is the author of over one hundred judicial opinions. 

Ohio's court system is self-regulating; that is, the Ohio Supreme Court oversees the operation of the entire state's court system.  As I campaign, I want to give you information about the state's judiciary.

There are many judges and judicial candidates who are running for trial and appellate courts throughout the state. I want you not only to know who your judges and judicial candidates are—I want to give you the opportunity with interviews of candidates like Judge O'Donnell, to determine for yourself their skills and backgrounds—so you can feel confident you are voting for candidates who are qualified to serve.

This is the third installment of our judicial series.  Over the course of the campaign, we'll be virtually traveling the state to safely introduce you to dedicated candidates and judges whose beliefs in a strong and responsive judiciary will help them earn your confidence as you learn about who they are and what they do. You can read more about Judge John P. O'Donnell at his website here.


Friday, June 12, 2020 10:28 AM

"A Fighter for Ohio"

Yesterday, the Jennifer Brunner Committee released an email from Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, urging support for Judge Jennifer Brunner for the Ohio Supreme Court at the November 3, 2020 election.  Senator Warren said this: 

"Ohio has a chance to do things differently with this election by electing Judge Jennifer Brunner.  Whether it’s protecting civil rights, voting rights, or just basic human dignity, Judge Brunner will be a justice for all the people. Sending her to the Supreme Court will be a big win for Ohio."

Judge Brunner thanked Senator Warren for her gracious and significant endorsement.  The judge pledged that she will continue to campaign and serve Ohioans, being propelled by her desire to be their public servant, to promote and protect their well-being under the rule of law and to show fairness, equality and respect in fostering basic human dignity.  Judge Brunner currently serves as one of eight elected judges on Ohio's Tenth Appellate District Court of Appeals, having defeated a governor's appointee in 2014 for the seat and being reelected in 2016 without opposition.


Friday, June 5, 2020 6:07 PM

Let Justice Roll Down

As a former Secretary of State of Ohio and as an appellate judge seeking election to the state's highest court, I want to share these words as you begin your weekend.

From 1961 to 1966, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King wrote an annual essay for The Nation, (the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, covering progressive political and cultural news, opinion and analysis,) on the state of civil rights and race relations in America. The words in the article he wrote for the March 15, 1965 issue of The Nation practically leapt from the page for me when I read it. 

I'm sharing with you select passages from Dr. King's article that squarely address where we are and the stakes we face in electing our President and a state supreme court this fall, the only candidate races on the statewide ballot in Ohio.  

The search for a consensus will tend to become a quest for the least common denominator of change. In an atmosphere devoid of urgency the American people can easily be stupefied into accepting slow reform, which in practice would be inadequate reform. “Let Justice roll down like waters in a mighty stream,” said the Prophet Amos. He was seeking not consensus but the cleansing action of revolutionary change. America has made progress toward freedom, but measured against the goal the road ahead is still long and hard. This could be the worst possible moment for slowing down.

To read the full article in The Nation, you can find it here.


Friday, May 22, 2020 7:09 PM

Judge Jennifer Brunner Interviews Ashtabula County Judicial Candidate Marie Lane for Common Pleas Court Judge

 

 

L to R:  Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court Judicial Candidate, Marie Lane, and Judge Jennifer Brunner

As part of her ongoing series of interviews with judicial candidates throughout Ohio, Judge Jennifer Brunner interviewed Ashtabula County judicial candidate, Marie Lane about her 21 years of service as Ashtabula County's Chief Public defender, her work as a founding member of her county's felony drug court and her race for Common Pleas Court Judge in Ashtabula. 

Ohio's court system is self-regulating; that is, the Ohio Supreme Court oversees the operation of the entire state's court system.  As I campaign, I want to give you information about the state's judiciary.

There are many judges and judicial candidates who are running for trial and appellate courts throughout the state. I want you not only to know who your judges and judicial candidates are—I want to give you the opportunity with interviews of candidates like Marie, to determine for yourself their skills and backgrounds—so you can feel confident you are voting for candidates who are qualified to serve.

This is the second installment of our judicial series.  Over the course of the campaign, we'll be virtually traveling the state to safely introduce you to dedicated candidates and judges whose beliefs in a strong and responsive judiciary will help them earn your confidence as you learn about who they are and what they do. You can read more about Marie Lane at her website here.


Friday, May 22, 2020 5:19 PM

Auglaize County Democrats host reorganizational meeting

WAPAKONETA —The Auglaize County Democratic Party 2020 reorganizational meeting was held virtually on May 19.

The online event was moderated by county Chairman Brent Henschen, Co-Vice Chairwoman Diana Dulebohn and Secretary Joe Monbeck with assistance from Ohio Democratic Party Secretary Bill DeMora.

Monbeck was elected chairman of the Democratic Central Committee, and Frank Valenti was elected secretary. Judge Jennifer Brunner swore in the newly elected members of the Democratic Central Committee.

The Executive Committee then was elected. Henschen was elected chairman of the Executive Committee, and Dulebohn and Rodney Metz were elected co-vice chairpersons. Monbeck was elected secretary, and Lynn Burke was elected treasurer.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper and Shannon Freshour, candidate for Ohio’s 4th Congressional District, were guest speakers.

In other business, appointments were made to the Ways and Means Committee and the Nominating Committee, and a committee was appointed to review the constitution and bylaws.

The Executive Committee will meet virtually for the June meeting. See fb.com/auglaizecountydp for details.


Saturday, May 16, 2020 12:21 PM

Judge Jennifer Brunner Interviews Hamilton County Judicial Candidate Kari Bloom for Juvenile Court Judge

Yesterday, at our latest FLFL - Friday Lunch Facebook Live, Judge Jennifer Brunner interviewed Hamilton County Judicial candidate Kari Bloom, who just won her primary for Juvenile Court Judge about her work and experience working with juvenile justice and her campaign to become one of that county's two juvenile judges.  

Here's the video:  

 

As we wrote in our email to supporters leading up to the live broadcast:

Ohio's court system is self-regulating; that is, the Ohio Supreme Court oversees the operation of the entire state's court system.  As I campaign, I want to give you information about the state's judiciary.

There are many judges and judicial candidates who are running for trial and appellate courts throughout the state. I want you not only to know who your judges and judicial candidates are—I want to give you the opportunity with interviews of candidates like Kari, to determine for yourself their skills and backgrounds—so you can feel confident you are voting for candidates who are qualified to serve.

Here’s Kari Bloom’s background:
 
Kari Bloom holds experience over the last 10 years as an attorney working with juvenile offenders in the court she is running for.  Juvenile justice is Kari Bloom’s passion.  She interned with the Children's Justice Center as a student and became a juvenile delinquency trial attorney.  She has served the United States Air Force, negotiating contracts at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and she has worked a significant number of years as a public defender in Cincinnati.  Here are some of her plans for serving as a juvenile court judge—they include restorative justice components.

 We'll be interviewing judicial candidates from around Ohio throughout the campaign.  Know a judicial candidate whom you want to see interviewed?  Let us know and send us their contact information. We'll help get out news about the judiciary in Ohio and you can help a judicial candidate you support become better known.  We're all in this together.  


Monday, May 11, 2020 7:57 PM

Ohio AFL-CIO Endorses Judges Brunner and O’Donnell for Supreme Court

We proudly endorse Judge Brunner and Judge O’Donnell for Ohio Supreme Court because they are both outstanding jurists with a strong commitment to justice for the working people of our great state,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Burga.  “Now more than ever, we need to know that we are electing judges that will protect the rights of working people at the highest level.  By electing Judge Brunner and Judge O’Donnell we can ensure the interests of all Ohioans will be represented on the bench in these uncertain times,” he said.  “Given the enormity of the challenges that working people currently face, we will need the commitment they will bring to the court.” 


Thursday, April 23, 2020 1:10 PM

US Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Warren Democrats Endorse Judge Jennifer Brunner

This just in from elizabethwarren.com:

"Warren Democrats is supporting Democratic candidates fighting for progressive change, mobilizing people to support those candidates and these ideas, and continuing to build the grassroots movement that Elizabeth Warren inspired. Here’s what Elizabeth has to say about these incredible candidates: 

 

JENNIFER BRUNNER | OHIO, SUPREME COURT

"In the wake of the financial crisis, Jennifer fought to hold Wall Street accountable. As Ohio’s first female Secretary of State, and while I was at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Jennifer alerted me about federal legislation that would have allowed big banks to cheat the American people even further. We worked together to put a stop to it, and President Obama vetoed the bill. At a time when civil rights, voting rights, and basic dignity are under constant assault, Ohioans deserve leaders who will stand for justice even if it means standing alone. I believe that Judge Brunner will serve the people of Ohio with courage and conviction as an Ohio Supreme Court Justice and that is why I am supporting her.'"

Judge Jennifer Brunner is the only judicial candidate in the nation supported by Senator Warren in her initial round of endorsements. 


Thursday, March 19, 2020 4:12 PM

An Essay on the New American Character

By Jennifer Brunner

            Our new American character is being expressed by how we act in today’s times of great trial.  Often, we don’t fully understand who we are—what we are made of—until we are tested.  In the face of this worldwide pandemic, washing over us with the certainty of the evening tide, we have to figure out how best to act for ourselves and for each other.  And by acting according to our character, we may lend to this time in the life of our nation some greater meaning. 

Click on the title to read the entire essay . . .


Sunday, March 15, 2020 7:40 PM

Ohio's Response to COVID-19, Where to Go for Help, What You Can Do

Here is the State of Ohio’s website on Corona virus, including hotline numbers:  

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/

You can find helpful COVID-19 CHECKLISTS here: COVID-19 Checklists

A message from Judge Jennifer Brunner:

We will get through this over time and it won't be easy.  It will take everyone doing their part.  We can do this because Ohioans are good at understanding and living the truth that we are all in this together.  

I will be active with my court in providing for a strong rule of law as the needs may arise relating to this situation.  In the meantime, my campaign for the Ohio Supreme Court will proceed online, with face-to-face interactions occurring when the spread of the pandemic is under control.  May you, your family, your neighbors and your friends be blessed with strength, courage and understanding during this time.  I will continue to work hard for you, keeping in mind the needs of every Ohioan as I strive to do my very best for you.  Please be safe.

Judge Jennifer Brunner, Tenth District Court of Appeals

 

 

 


Monday, March 9, 2020 11:22 PM

Democratic Party candidates rally in Marion County

, Marion Star Published 10:32 a.m. ET March 9, 2020

Judge Jennifer Brunner, who currently sits on the 10th District Court of Appeals and is running for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court, was the keynote speaker. She served as Ohio secretary of state — the first woman to do so — and was a judge on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. 


Monday, March 9, 2020 11:17 PM

GOP incumbents lead in Ohio Supreme Court campaign cash

By Randy Ludlow
The Columbus Dispatch

Posted Mar 6, 2020 at 2:41 PM

A pair of Democrats seeking election to the Ohio Supreme Court out-raised their opponents in the period covered by their latest campaign finance reports.  Columbus appeals court Judge Jennifer Brunner, a former Ohio secretary of state, raised $123,838, ending with $139,515 on hand.  Democrats Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart were elected in 2018 to what had been an all-Republican court. Victories by Brunner and O’Donnell this fall would give Democrats a majority of the seven seats for the first time in decades.


Friday, February 28, 2020 12:37 AM

Ohio Supreme Court Hopeful speaks to county Democrats

Kenton Times - BY TIM THOMAS, Times Editor - February 27, 2020

Brunner said, "Democracy is fragile: and it's important the judges remain vigilant in what they do. If the rule of law protects people, they trust in it and it becomes stronger."  Brunner is a familiar name in Democratic circles.  She served as Ohio Secretary of State from 2007-2011.


Friday, February 21, 2020 1:29 PM

Lawyers, Law Firms Pony Up Donations In Ohio Supreme Court Races

The Republican Party currently holds a 5-2 majority on the Court, but an O'Donnell/Brunner sweep would give Democrats a 4-3 majority.


Friday, February 21, 2020 1:11 PM

Democratic Club Breakfast March 7

From the Marion Star 2/19/20:

MARION - The Marion County Democratic Club FDR Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, March 7 at the Historic Women's Club Home, 1126 E. Center St., Marion. The breakfast starts at 9 a.m.

Judge Jennifer Brunner of Ohio's 10th District Court of Appeals will be the keynote speaker.

Admission is $30 per person. For ticket information, contact Democratic Club officers or purchase at the door the day of the event.


Friday, February 14, 2020 4:50 PM

Hardin County Democratic Party annual Presidents Day Luncheon set

“My passion is fairness and protecting the rule of law. People have certain guaranteed rights in our democratic republic. As Secretary of State I protected their voting rights. As an Ohio Supreme Court justice I will protect all of their rights. There is not a Republican or Democratic way to fairness. I have observed in my years of public service that people appreciate and in fact prefer public servants who work for the people, regardless of party affiliation,” said Brunner.

 


Thursday, February 13, 2020 12:52 PM

COUNTY DEMOCRATS GATHER

The evening’s guest speaker was Judge Jennifer Brunner, a candidate for Ohio Supreme Court. Brunner and fellow Democrat Judge John O’Donnell are each running for two available seats.

“Democracy is a fragile thing, and it is only as strong as people believe it is,” said Brunner.

Brunner said that democracy is held up by two pillars, the courts and fair elections.

“I want to be a part of a court that ensures that the first decision interpreting the state constitution’s new provisions for fair districts for Congress and the Ohio General Assembly, when challenged — and they in all likelihood will be — are fair and according to state constitutional requirements,” she said.


Sunday, February 9, 2020 10:01 AM

HC DEMOCRATIC PARTY MONTHLY MEETING SCHEDULED FEB 12

February 8, 2020
 

The monthly meeting of the Hardin County Democratic Party will be held on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 6 PM at the Mary Lou Johnson Hardin County Library in Kenton.

The main agenda item will be the February 22nd Presidents Day Luncheon with Judge Jennifer Brunner, candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court, held at noon at the Kenton Moose Lodge. Persons interested in attending the February 22nd Presidents Day Luncheon my make reservation be calling or texting Chairman Mike Hubbell at 419-673-6346. The cost is $25 per person or $15 for students thru college payable at the door.

Anyone supporting the principles of the Hardin County Democrat Party and the Ohio Democrat Party is welcome and encouraged to attend the monthly meeting as well as the luncheon.


Wednesday, February 5, 2020 11:20 AM

GOP STATE CHAIR URGES SUPPORT OF OHIO SUPREME COURT INCUMBENTS

"Most 'activist' judges I know call themselves 'conservative,'" said Brunner in a statement. "There is not a Republican or Democratic way to be fair, and every judge should stay in their own lane — I do."


Thursday, January 30, 2020 12:04 PM

JUDGE JENNIFER BRUNNER TO ADDRESS THE GREENE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY WOMEN’S CLUB ON FEBRUARY 8, 2020

Dayton.com

Greene County Democratic Party Women’s Club will welcome Judge Jennifer Brunner at its next regular meeting on Saturday February 8, 2020 at the Greene County Democratic Party’s headquarters located at 10 S. Detroit Street in Xenia.

Judge Brunner is a candidate for Justice on The Supreme Court of Ohio in the 2020 election. She is currently serving as a judge on the 10th District of Ohio’s Appeals Court located in Franklin County. Judge Brunner previously served as Ohio Secretary of State from 2007 to 2011 and as a judge on the Common Pleas Court of Franklin County.

February 8, 2020, 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
at Greene County Democratic Party Headquarters, 10 S. Detroit Street, Xenia, OH 45385


Tuesday, January 28, 2020 9:31 PM

SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED FOR DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESIDENT’S DAY LUNCHEON

Former Ohio Secretary of State, Judge Jennifer Brunner, will keynote the annual Presidents Day Luncheon for the Hardin County Democratic Party.

 

The luncheon will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at noon in the lower level of the Kenton Moose Lodge, 801 W. Lima St., Kenton, OH.

 

There will be a meet and greet from 11:30 AM -noon with Judge Brunner [who] will be available to the press at that time and following the luncheon.


Monday, December 23, 2019 9:36 AM

Control of Ohio Supreme Court at stake in 2020

Posted Dec 21, 2019

By Thomas Suddes, cleveland.com

Next year’s main event in Ohio politics will be the re-election, or defeat, of President Donald Trump, and of the 16 Ohioans now in the U.S. House of Representatives. Voters will also fill all 99 seats in the Ohio House of Representatives and half the state Senate’s 33 seats.

But in terms of Ohioans’ daily lives, next year’s critical contests may be over two Ohio Supreme Court seats, an election that could flip a 5-2 Republican court to 4-3 Democratic.


Thursday, December 19, 2019 12:26 AM

Candidates declare for two 2020 Ohio Supreme Court races, with control of the court on the line

Updated Dec 13, 2019;Posted Dec 13, 2019

By Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland.com

Which party has control over the Ohio Supreme Court will be determined by the outcome of two races next year. Democratic ex-Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (top right) will face Republican Justice Judith French (top left), while Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy (bottom left) is being challenged by Democratic Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell (bottom right).

While state Supreme Court races fly under the radar of many Ohio voters, next year’s contests will be more important than usual, as they will decide whether Republicans or Democrats control a court that will almost certainly have a role in deciding whether congressional and legislative district lines for the next 10 years are improperly gerrymandered or not.


Thursday, December 19, 2019 12:15 AM

The headlines - Cleveland.com - Supreme Court

The two races for Ohio Supreme Court in 2020 are all but set: Democrats Jennifer Brunner and John P. O’Donnell will face Republican incumbents Judith French and Sharon Kennedy, respectively. Cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer reports that next year’s contests will be more important than usual, as they will decide control of a court that will almost certainly help decide whether congressional and legislative district lines for the next 10 years are improperly gerrymandered.

https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2019/12/how-cleveland-transformed-in-the-2010s-the-wake-up-for-monday-dec-16-2019.html


Friday, December 13, 2019 10:00 AM

It's official . . .

For Immediate Release:
Friday, Dec. 13, 2019
CONTACT: Andrew DeCarlo (330) 402-7087 adecarlo@ohiodems.org

FORMER OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE AND CURRENT TENTH DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS JUDGE, JENNIFER BRUNNER, FILES FOR STATE SUPREME COURT RAISING HOPES FOR FAIR LEGISLATIVE AND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS IN OHIO AFTER 2020

COLUMBUS -- Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, now an appellate judge serving in Columbus, filed petitions today to run for the State’s highest court next year. The Supreme Court of Ohio is poised to review challenges of any new district maps drawn after the 2020 census according to new state constitutional requirements to eliminate gerrymandering.

“My passion is fairness and protecting the rule of law. People have certain guaranteed rights in our democratic republic. As Secretary of State I protected their voting rights. As an Ohio Supreme Court justice I will protect all of their rights. There is not a Republican or Democratic way to fairness. I have observed in my years of public service that people appreciate and in fact prefer public servants who work for the people, regardless of party affiliation,” said Brunner.

Filing petitions circulated by volunteer supporters from throughout the nation’s seventh largest state, Judge Brunner receives both state and national support for her decision to return to statewide office.

DNC Chair Tom Perez said, “When I served as Chief of the Civil Rights division of the US Justice Department I worked with then Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to ensure every eligible Ohioan had access to an election ballot they could read and understand. As Ohio implements a new way to draw its district lines after the 2020 election I can think of no one better than Judge Jennifer Brunner to ensure Ohio’s districts are fair.”

Ohio Association for Justice President Ellen McCarthy said, “Judge Jennifer Brunner would bring a wealth of experience and a refreshing, people-oriented approach as a Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. That is why the Ohio Association for Justice supports her candidacy.”

“Judge Brunner by her example as a public servant has inspired many women and men to pursue elected public service,” said Kathy DiCristofaro, Chair of the Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus and a public school teacher. “She is fiercely independent of influences that would diminish the protection of the rights of all persons under the law and is a strong advocate of access to justice.”

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes said, “Electing fair-minded legislators to draw fair districts is the first step to guaranteeing full participation in government for all Ohioans. No one is more prepared than Judge Jennifer Brunner to fairly review any district plan with care for the well-being of our state, whether it’s big cities or small towns. The diverse lives of our people matter in this election and fair districts will ensure that all Ohioans are fairly represented.”

Judge Jennifer Brunner serves as one of 8 state appeals court judges of the Tenth District Court of Appeals located in Franklin County, Ohio; she previously served in elective office as a Common Pleas Judge (2000-2005) and Ohio Secretary of State (2007-2011).

In 2008 Brunner received the bipartisan John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the nation’s most prestigious award for elected public servants, for what Caroline Kennedy called, “her dauntless commitment to the enfranchisement of every Ohio voter” while serving as Ohio’s Secretary of State.

In 2010, Judge Brunner was a candidate for the United States Senate. Previously, she was a principal at Brunner Quinn just prior to being elected to her current judicial position in 2014 and reelected without opposition in 2016. Having founded her law firm in 1988, Judge Brunner holds 17 years private law practice experience as well as state government experience in the Ohio Senate and the Secretary of State’s office as a staff attorney.

Judge Brunner has assisted foreign governments with rule of law and self-governance matters, including anti-corruption and judicial reform consulting in the Republic of Serbia, election observation in the Arab Republic of Egypt and providing legal training in the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Judge Brunner has been married since 1978 to attorney Rick Brunner, who grew up in Columbiana County in Northeast Ohio. They have three adult children and five grandchildren. Born in Springfield, Ohio, she spent her formative and adult years in Columbus, Ohio, graduating from Columbus public schools, from college at Miami University of Ohio, cum laude, and from law school at Capital University Law School with honors.

###

Paid for by Jennifer Brunner Committee


Thursday, October 31, 2019 12:54 PM

Brunner talks ‘rule of law’ to local Democrats

The Ohio Supreme Court is now 5-2 Republican. If the Democrats unseat the two Republicans, the court would become 4-3 Democratic.

“Those will be the only two statewide candidates besides the President, but maybe we’ll get a statewide ballot issue,” Brunner said. “This is the year where we really could restore a real balance on the court so that when we get the tough issues in front of us, like a challenge to redistricting, we’re going to do it in the next 10 years in a way that’s fair to everybody.”

Brunner closed her speech by talking about the importance of the “rule of law.”


Thursday, October 31, 2019 12:44 PM

Democrats rally at fall banquet

GALLIPOLIS — Gallia democrats banded together for the coming election season with Ohio’s Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Brunner stumping for a spot on the Ohio Supreme Court . . . "From the standpoint of should I do it, there was no question that I should do it. I looked at what was coming up ahead. * * * You all maybe remember voting for a constitutional amendment, so it’s based more on a formula than just politics and computers. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t do it a republican way or a democrat way but that we were just fair…The question became ‘how could I not do this?’"


Monday, October 28, 2019 7:00 AM

Brunner to headline Democratic Fall Dinner

Brunner’s work in improving Ohio’s elections received national recognition, including the nation’s most prestigious award for elected public servants, the bipartisan John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, according to her bio.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:26 AM

Former Ohio secretary of state Jennifer Brunner running for Ohio Supreme Court

By Nancy Molnar
The Times-Reporter

By Staff Reporter
Posted Oct 14, 2019 at 10:04 PM

Updated at 5:42 AM

NEW PHILADELPHIA - Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner appeared here Monday night to promote her candidacy for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020.

Brunner, the first woman to serve as the state’s chief elections official, was the keynote speaker for the fall dinner of the Tuscarawas County Democratic Party.

She touched on the drawing of legislative districts that will follow next year’s federal census.

“The federal courts have said, U.S. Supreme Court has said, no more dealing with gerrymandering,” Brunner said. “Ohio passed a change to the way that we draw the districts. This is really sort of the groundwork for how we elect the people to whom we hand off the ability to govern us.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could just make sure it gets done right? Not a Democratic way. Not a Republican way. But a way where we do it right so that people have confidence in our democracy and our government.”


Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:25 AM

Democratic Ohio Supreme Court candidates Judges Jennifer Brunner and John O'Donnell speak at the ODP annual state dinner

Monday, 14 October 2019 21:47 - Kathy

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief

CLEVELANDURBANNEWS.COM - COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Democratic Supreme Court 2020 judicial candidates Jennifer Brunner, a Ohio 10th District Appellate Court judge and former Democratic Ohio secretary of state, and Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell, spoke front and center at the annual Ohio Democratic Party state dinner Sunday evening Oct. 15 at the Convention Center in greater Columbus, Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez and five Democratic candidates for president also speaking, among others, including ODP Chairman David Pepper and ODP Vice-chairwoman Rhine McLin, who is Black and a former Dayton mayor.

There are two seats up for grabs next year on the Ohio Supreme Court.

"So goes Ohio, so goes the nation," said Brunner during her state dinner speech Sunday, a speech that highlighted the work of the late Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "Twenty-twenty depends on us."

The likable Judge Brunner said Democracy is fragile and "only as good and true as what the people believe it to be," the Ohio Supreme Court poised to take on issues from voting and reproductive rights to eminent domain cases, death penalty matters, and congressional gerrymandering.

Both Brunner and O'Donnell asked the audience to support them in their bids next year for the Ohio Supreme Court, a policy-making court with only one Black, Democratic Justice Melody Stewart, a former 8th District Court of Appeals judge the first Black and first Black female elected to the Ohio Supreme Court, Stewart last year winning one of the two seats on the court that are now held by Democrats, along with former Cuyahoga County Court of common Pleas judge Michael Donnelly.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:12 AM

Multi-county fundraiser featured speeches from Ohio Democratic candidates and party chair

David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party chair, offers Democratic strategy at the Wyandot County Democrats’ multi-county Oktoberfest fundraiser.

SEP 30, 2019
BRET NYE
Staff Writer
bnye@advertiser-tribune.com

NEVADA — Wyandot County Democratic Party hosted a multi-county Oktoberfest fundraiser at White Shutter Winery & Brewery, 3794 C-56, Nevada, that included residents from Wyandot, Seneca, Crawford and Hancock counties Saturday afternoon.

Jennifer Brunner, judge on Ohio’s 10th District Court of Appeals and former Ohio Secretary of State, and Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper took to a stage and spoke about Brunner’s recently announced campaign for an Ohio Supreme Court seat and general election strategy for local and state Democratic parties.

Brunner, who is challenging Republican Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judi French for her seat in 2020, said her focus as a judge has always been on rule of law.

“And I’m happy to be in the judiciary,” Brunner said, “where we can check the legislative and executive branches of government.”

Brunner said she wants to “make people’s lives better” and make it to all 88 counties in the state by next year during her campaign.

“That’s what I hope to do,” she said.

Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper gave some remarks after Brunner. He told Brunner that “whoever gets the Democratic nod (for the 2020 presidential campaign) will be lucky to have you here in Ohio.”

“This election is about the generations that follow,” Pepper said. Addressing the audience of Democratic voters, he said that the “good news” is that “we can do it right here in Ohio: there’s no reason in the world we can’t go blue a year from now in November 2020.”

For full article, click here.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:06 AM

Brunner to speak before Gallia democrats

Staff Report

GALLIPOLIS — Gallia Democrats will be hosting their fall dinner at the Gallipolis AMVETS building Oct. 21 where Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Brunner is anticipated to speak before visitors.

The event is open to the public and free with contributions taken at the door for those who wish to contribute.

Judge Jennifer Brunner serves as one of eight state appeals court judges of the Tenth District Court of Appeals located in Franklin County. She previously served in elective office as a Common Pleas Judge (2000-2005) and Ohio Secretary of State (2007-2011).

In 2008, she received the bipartisan John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her public service. In 2010, Brunner was a candidate for the United States Senate. Previously, she was a principal at Brunner Quinn just prior to being elected to her current judicial position in 2014 and reelected in 2016.
Having founded her law firm in 1988, Brunner holds 17 years private law practice experience as well as state government experience in the Ohio Senate and the Secretary of State’s office as a staff attorney. Brunner has assisted foreign governments with rule of law and self-governance matters, including anti-corruption and judicial reform consulting in the Republic of Serbia, election observation in the Arab Republic of Egypt and providing legal training in the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Brunner has been married since 1978 to attorney Rick Brunner, who grew up in Columbiana County. They have three adult children and five grandchildren. Born in Springfield, she has spent her formative and adult years in Columbus, graduating from Columbus public schools, from college at Miami University of Ohio, cum laude, and from law school at Capital University Law School with honors.

Brunner has traveled extensively to destinations in Asia, Africa, Central America, Europe and North America. She is the author of a memoir entitled “Cupcakes and Courage” about growing up in Ohio, her experiences in public life and her 2010 U.S. Senate campaign. She loves dogs and cats, art, reading and music and paints in encaustic medium.
Brunner is running for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court.


Friday, September 27, 2019 11:58 PM

Tuscarawas County Democratic Party to host former secretary of state

The Tuscarawas County Democratic Party will host former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner as its keynote speaker at its for its fall dinner Oct. 14 at The Venue, 126 Front St. SW, New Philadelphia.

Cocktails will be served at 5 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Brunner currently is a judge on the Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals. She received the bi-partisan President John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award in 2008 for her public service. In 2010, she was a candidate for the U.S. Senate. She won election to her current judicial position in 2014 and is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020. Prior to being elected to public office, she spent 17 years in private law practice.

Ticket cost: $40. For reservations by Oct. 7: 330-343-9942.
SUBMITTED BY TUSCARAWAS COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY



Friday, September 20, 2019 3:09 PM

Jennifer Brunner pledges to be 'fiercely independent' if elected to Ohio Supreme Court

Jennifer Brunner, who is running for the Ohio Supreme Court, spoke Thursday at the Richland County Democratic Party's Annual Fall Dinner. (Photo: Monroe Trombly/News Journal)

Monroe Trombly, Mansfield News Journal

Published 1:31 p.m. ET Sept. 20, 2019

The former secretary of state is running to challenge Republican Judith French, whose seat is up for re-election next year. French has been on the high court's bench since 2013.

"I've always been an independent thinker, and here I could be fiercely independent, and that's definitely what I think we need on the Ohio Supreme Court," Brunner said.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019 1:01 AM

The Defiance Crescent News - "Democratic Dinner"

Jeff Long/C-N Photo

The Defiance Democratic Men’s Dinner was held Monday evening at the UAW Memorial Hall. Guest speaker was Jennifer Brunner, former Ohio secretary of state. Brunner is running for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. Attending the dinner were Charles Bake Jr. (left), Democratic county chairman; Brunner; and John Hancock, president of the Defiance County men’s group.

 


Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:35 PM

Pepper says Ohio could end Trump presidency

From the Sandusky Register--9/11/19

If Democrats win two more seats on the Ohio Supreme Court next year, they can take control, a move that will help end gerrymandering, he said. Jennifer Brunner, a former Democratic secretary of state, has announced she will run for the Ohio Supreme Court next year, Pepper said.


Friday, September 6, 2019 9:45 PM

In next year’s Ohio Supreme Court races, Ohioans need to vote, and vote knowledgeably: Thomas Suddes

Many Ohioans skip judgeship contests because ballots don’t list candidates’ parties – a crucial voter cue – and because judgeship candidates can’t say much. Elections are supposed to have consequences. But Ohio judicial elections can’t – if voters ignore them.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:33 PM

With control of Ohio Supreme Court up for grabs in 2020, Democrat Jennifer Brunner announces run

Updated 10:41 AM; Posted Aug 19, 4:24 PM

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former Ohio secretary of state Jennifer Brunner seen in an April 2010 file photo. Brunner, now a state appellate judge in Franklin County, has announced she is running for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court next year.

(AP Photo/John Seewer)
By Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s biggest state-level political fight of the 2020 election is starting to come into focus, after former Ohio secretary of state Jennifer Brunner announced over the weekend that she’s running for the Ohio Supreme Court.

Brunner, now a state appellate judge in Franklin County, joins Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell in the Democratic field challenging two seats currently held by Republicans Justices Sharon Kennedy and Judith French. Were Democrats to win both seats, they would seize control of Ohio’s top court, currently a 5-2 majority for Republicans, for the first time in a generation.

Brunner announced her candidacy somewhat unceremoniously over the weekend, breaking the news to a meeting of county-level Democratic Party chairs in Columbus.
While there had been rumors in Democratic circles that she was considering a run, the timing of her announcement came as a surprise, those in attendance said.

“There aren’t that many candidates entering these races with such a strong standing, good name and good reputation,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “Her decision to run, I think, will make big waves across the state for us.”

State supreme court races aren’t usually top of mind for voters or even political professionals. But the stakes could be higher this year — the Ohio Supreme Court would hear any legal challenges to the new state legislative lines that will be re-drawn in 2021. The court also could play a more central role in adjudicating hot-button social issues like abortion, if the increasingly conservative U.S. Supreme Court ends up sending those issues back to the states to decide. Finally, with no other statewide, non-presidential races on the ballot next year, the race is expected to get closer-than-usual attention from the state parties.

Ohio Republicans have said they’re particularly focused on the Ohio Supreme Court after Democrats Melody Stewart and Michael Donnelly picked up two seats in November 2018, a bright spot for Democrats in what was otherwise a strong election for the state GOP. Republican leaders prioritized resources toward helping Mike DeWine beat Democrat Richard Cordray, allowing the Supreme Court races to fly more under the radar.

“I think folks were a little surprised last year,” said Mike Hartley, a Republican strategist and former lobbyist for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. ”…I think everybody’s been put on notice that these races are incredibly important, and the folks who care about the Supreme Court will respond in kind.”

And in Ohio, Supreme Court candidates run in November without their party affiliation appearing on the ballot. This can make judicial elections more a crapshoot, placing an increased significance on fundraising — and the advertising it buys — as well as the “name game,” with recognizable, and particularly Irish-sounding names seen as offering an advantage. Pepper said the Ohio Democrats also have focused on encouraging their voters to fill out their entire ballot, combating the tendency people have to drop-off and leave the bottom of the ticket blank.

Bill Demora, a Democratic strategist who’s managing O’Donnell’s campaign, said that business and insurance groups have pledged to make sure the Republican incumbents are well-funded.

“I’ve been trying to talk for months to our allies that the other side is doing this,” Demora said. “This is the most important election for the court seats in a long time,” he said.
Another Democratic Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge, Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo, also is considering running for the Ohio Supreme Court, according to Jeff Rusnak, a Cleveland political strategist who is advising him.

Brunner said Saturday she is running to challenge French, while O’Donnell, who launched his candidacy last April, has been circulating petitions for both seats.

Demora told cleveland.com he was “caught by surprise” to hear Brunner say she was running for French’s seat. But he also said he’s hoping the party will avoid an expensive primary, allowing them to organize early and prepare for a competitive race.

“Just like last year when both Donnelly and Stewart circulated petitions for both seats and worked out which seat later, I expect we will do the same thing this year,” he said. “Judge O’Donnell is a team player, and we will do what is best for the party and everyone involved.”

Brunner has served on the 10th District Court of Appeals in Franklin County since 2014. She was Ohio’s Secretary of State from 2006 to 2010, when she opted to run for the U.S. Senate rather than seek re-election. She lost the Democratic primary to then-Lieutenant Gov. Lee Fisher in what turned out to be the last year Democrats controlled state government.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:59 PM

Democrat Jennifer Brunner announces run for Ohio Supreme Court

Columbus Dispatch

Aug 19, 2019 at 10:33 AM Aug 19, 2019 at 10:37 AM



With political control of the Ohio Supreme Court on the line, a pair of familiar Democrats will seek election as justices next year.

Columbus appellate court Judge Jennifer Brunner, a former Ohio secretary of state, and John O’Donnell, a Cleveland judge making his third run, plan to seek the Democratic nomination for separate seats in 2020.

The seats of Republican Justices Sharon Kennedy, who has served on the court since 2012, and Judith French, on the high court’s bench since 2013, are up for re-election next year. Brunner said she plans to run against French.

Brunner made her plans public during weekend remarks to a meeting of Ohio Democratic Party county chairmen and chairwomen. Brunner, who was re-elected in 2016 and will retain her appellate judgeship if she loses next year, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Democrats ended total Republican control of the Ohio Supreme Court in 2018, when Justices Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart won election to trim the GOP margin to 5-2.
Brunner has served on the 10th District Court of Appeals since late 2014 and also previously served as a Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge.

She was elected secretary of state in 2006, defeating Republican Greg Hartmann, and served through early 2011.

Instead of seeking re-election in 2010, Brunner opted to run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, losing to then-Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who then lost to Republican Rob Portman.

O’Donnell announced his plans to run months ago. A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge since 2003, O’Donnell lost to Republican Justice Patrick Fischer in 2016 by 22,470 votes (0.56%) and also was defeated by French in 2014.

Ohio Supreme Court candidates are nominated in partisan primaries, but appear on fall election ballots without their political affiliation. Justices serve six-year terms.

rludlow@dispatch.com

@RandyLudlow


Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:50 PM

Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner announces run for Supreme Court

Dayton Daily News, August 20, 2019

Photo: Gus Chan/The Plain Dealer

With political control of the Ohio Supreme Court on the line, a pair of familiar Democrats will seek election as justices next year.

Columbus appellate court Judge Jennifer Brunner, a former Ohio secretary of state, and John O’Donnell, a Cleveland judge making his third run, plan to seek the Democratic nomination for separate seats in 2020.

The seats of Republican Justices Sharon Kennedy, who has served on the court since 2012, and Judith French, on the high court’s bench since 2013, are up for re-election next year.

Brunner made her plans public during weekend remarks to a meeting of Ohio Democratic Party chairmen and chairwomen. Comment was being sought from Brunner on Monday.

Democrats ended total Republican control of the OhioSupreme Court in 2018, when Justices Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart won election to trim the GOP margin to 5-2.

Brunner has served on the 10th District Court of Appeals since late 2014 and also previously served as a Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge.

She was elected secretary of state in 2006, defeating Republican Greg Hartmann, and served through early 2011.
Instead of seeking re-election, Brunner opted to run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010, losing to then Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who then lost to Republican Rob Portman.

O’Donnell announced his plans to run months ago. A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge since 2003, O’Donnell lost to Republican Justice Patrick Fischer in 2016 and also was defeated by French in 2014.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:48 PM

Ex-Ohio elections chief Brunner seeks seat on high court

Cincinnati Enquirer, August, 20, 2019
Associated PressPublished 2:59 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Democrat Jennifer Brunner has announced plans to seek a seat next year on the Ohio Supreme Court as her party tries to wrest control of the high court from Republicans.

The 62-year-old Columbus appellate judge joins the race with statewide name recognition. She served a four-year term as secretary of state beginning in 2007 and ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2010.

Brunner joins fellow Democrat John O'Donnell, a judge in Cleveland, in respective challenges to incumbent Republican justices Judith French and Sharon Kennedy. Democrats currently hold just two of the court's seven seats.
This is O'Donnell's third run for the court. He lost to French in 2014 and to Republican Pat Fischer in 2016 by less than a percentage point.

Supreme Court races are nonpartisan.



Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:40 PM

The Battle Over the Supreme Court in 2020

Ohio Public Radio, August 20, 2019

Judge and Former Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner
THE STATE OF OHIO, OHIO PUBLIC TELEVISION

Some of the biggest races on the ballot next year could be for the Ohio Supreme Court. Two seats now held by Republican justices will be open. A prominent Democrat who has held statewide office says she wants one of them.

Appeals Court Judge and former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner says she is running for the seat now held by Justice Judith French. Brunner says she is running because the court will take up big issues like criminal justice and property rights.

“The Supreme Court sort of sets the tone for what issues are we going to consider, what issues are we going to look at, how are we going to look at them and they have a way, as I saw when I was Secretary of State protecting people’s votes, of filtering down to affect people in the most intimate ways," Brunner says.

Brunner will join Cleveland Judge John O’Donnell in a run for the high court. If both win, it would tip the control of the court to Democrats, which could be important in 2021 if there are challenges to the state’s new redistricting process.




Wednesday, August 24, 2016 3:48 PM

Man's sentence reduced in Hilltop torture case

From the Columbus Dispatch, August 23, 2016

A man sentenced to 35 years in prison for his involvement in the torture of a couple in a Hilltop basement will have his sentence reduced by 14 years after the Franklin County Court of Appeals overturned his rape convictions.


Friday, August 5, 2016 3:53 PM

Tenth District: Non-Incumbent Candidates No Longer Have to Use “For” to Alert Voters They Don’t Hold the Office

From Court News, August 5, 2016

Candidates can’t be required to list words such as “for” in their campaign materials to clarify for voters that they don’t currently hold the office they seek, an Ohio appeals court ruled. Judicial elections, however, with differing public interests, are still subject to Ohio Supreme Court rules prohibiting use of a title not currently held.


Saturday, July 16, 2016 4:03 PM

Columbus man charged with drug trafficking wins appeal

From the Akron Legal News, July, 16, 2016

The 10th District Court of Appeals recently affirmed the dismissal of drug charges against a Columbus man.

The indictment referred to a compound known as MDPPP, a synthetic stimulant, referred to as a “controlled substance analog” under the law.

The court of appeals ruled that, by failing to incorporate the definition of “controlled substance analog” into R.C. 2925.01, the General Assembly excluded that definition from applying in the context of criminal drug offense statutes.


Thursday, July 7, 2016 4:08 PM

Falsely accused, denied justice

From the Columbus Dispatch, July 7, 2016

Editorial, July 7, 2016

Dale Johnston is an innocent man. The case against him in the grisly 1982 murders of his stepdaughter and her fiancé was shaky from the start. But he served nearly seven years on death row before being freed on appeal in 1990. It turns out the crime scene was never properly secured and Johnston’s statements to police were coerced during an eight-hour police interrogation.

The Franklin County Court of Appeals again shot down Johnston’s plea for a finding of innocence. Judge Jennifer Brunner dissented, disagreeing with her colleagues who cited a new Supreme Court ruling to block Johnston’s pursuit of an innocence ruling.

The man is 82. He lost his family. He lost his freedom. But it appears the state is waiting for Johnston to die before exonerating him. That’s shameful.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016 12:00 AM

Court upholds man's conviction, life sentence

By Annie Yamson, July 6, 2016

A Franklin County man serving life in prison for a 2012 murder will remain incarcerated after he lost his appeal to the 10th District Court of Appeals.

Maxamillion Williams was sentenced in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to life in prison without parole for aggravated murder, 10 years for aggravated robbery and kidnapping and three additional years for tampering with evidence.

On appeal, Williams challenged the instructions given to his jury, the life sentence and the sufficiency and manifest weight of the evidence.

Williams was convicted along with co-defendant Dartanian Hawkins for the strangulation death of Michael Payne. The men committed the murder with the help of Amy Lambert, Payne’s former fiancé who wanted him dead in order to collect money from a life insurance policy.

Payne was beaten and strangled in Williams’ East Livingston Avenue apartment on Oct. 19, 2012. According to court documents, Williams and the others attempted to dispose of the evidence, clipping the body’s fingernails, cutting off the clothing and using cleaning products in the apartment.

The body was transported to Whitehall, where it was left in front of an apartment complex, covered in trash bags.

After the murder, Williams flew to Miami, where he boarded a cruise ship. When the ship made a stop on Cozumel, Mexico, Williams got off the ship and did not reboard. He was eventually arrested in Mexico and returned to Ohio.

Lambert ended up entering into a plea bargain with the state and testified at Williams’ trial that the murder was his idea and that she helped commit it.

She and another eyewitness testified that Williams and Hawkins forced Payne into the apartment before Hawkins strangled him to death with an HDMI cable.

Williams denied involvement and testified that the killing was carried out by Lambert and Hawkins, whom he considered a brother.

In an opinion authored by Judge Susan Brown, the 10th District Court affirmed Williams’ conviction and sentence. It first addressed his contention that trial court’s jury instructions essentially instructed the jury that Williams’ mere presence at the scene was sufficient to convict him as an aider and abettor.

“With respect to the ‘mere presence’ language, as noted by the state, the trial court’s instruction did not simply state that mere presence was enough to convict as a complicitor; rather, the court instructed the jury that ‘it can be enough if it is intended to and does aid in the primary offense,’” Brown wrote. “Here, viewing the instruction as a whole, we find that the trial court’s instruction adequately informed the jury that more than mere presence was required to render one an aider and abettor.”

Williams also argued that the trial court relied solely on its perception of a lack of remorse in fashioning his life sentence. He claimed that any expression of remorse on his part would have sabotaged his chances for acquittal because it would have been a showing of culpability, when he claimed innocence.

“Under Ohio law, however, lack of genuine remorse is an appropriate consideration for sentencing, even for a convicted defendant who maintains his or her innocence,” Brown wrote.

Since the trial court considered the purposes and principles of criminal sentencing, the court of appeals could not overturn its sentencing decision.

In a third argument on appeal, Williams claimed that his convictions were against the sufficiency and manifest weight of the evidence. But the appellate panel, considering the sheer amount of incriminating physical evidence and the damning testimony of Lambert and other eyewitnesses, held that the evidence was sufficient to support a conviction.

Presiding Judge Julia Dorrian and Judge Jennifer Brunner joined Brown to affirm the judgment of the Franklin County court. Brunner wrote a separate, concurring opinion.

The case is cited State v. Williams, 2016-Ohio-4550.


Friday, July 1, 2016 12:00 AM

Man wrongfully convicted of murder still can't clear his name, collect damages

By Randy Ludlow of the Columbus Dispatch, July 1, 2016

After decades fighting to legally clear his name for a pair of grisly murders he did not commit,the Ohio Supreme Court ruled last year that Dale Johnston had the right to sue the state.On Thursday, the Franklin County Court of Appeals again shot down Johnston's bid for a finding of actual innocence that would entitle the Grove City man to collect damages for wrongful imprisonment.

Johnston offered a sardonic chuckle this morning about his latest legal loss. "I'm beginning to wonder.

I think they're waiting for me to die," he said. "Everyone knows I'm innocent."Johnston, now 82, served nearly seven years on Death Row after being convicted of the 1982 Hocking County murders of his stepdaughter and her fiance before winning his freedom on appeal.

The actual killer confessed in 2008.

Again hearing Johnston's case under order of the Supreme Court, the appellate court again reversed a trial-court judge's finding that Johnston was innocent of the slayings of Annette Cooper, 18, and Todd Schultz, 19.

In a 2-1 finding, the appellate judges said another Supreme Court ruling released weeks afterJohnston won his case barred his pursuit of a finding of innocence.

The Supreme Court ruling in a wrongful-imprisonment case said an individual could only pursue an innocence claim if the errors that led to his release occurred after sentencing or imprisonment.

Johnston was freed on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct and withheld evidence that occurred during the trial " not after he was sentenced and imprisoned.

Judge Jennifer Brunner dissented in the appellate court ruling issued Thursday, saying Johnston was entitled to pursue a wrongful-imprisonment action under the latest Supreme Court ruling.

While conceding Johnston was innocent, the office of Attorney General Mike DeWine long has fought Johnston's efforts to be legally recognized as innocent. Johnston said he will discuss the possibility of another appeal with his lawyer.

Chester McKnight, a drifter and drug addict, confessed in 2008 to killing Cooper and Schultz during an attempted rape of the woman. When Schultz intervened, McKnight shot both of his victim sand, with the help of a friend, carved up their bodies, with their heads and limbs buried in a cornfield and their torsos thrown into the Hocking River. McKnight was sentenced to life in prison.

rludlow@dispatch.com

 @RandyLudlow


Wednesday, May 18, 2016 3:49 PM

Appellate court backs North Royalton's fight against mandatory pooling in driller's plan to frack for new well

By Robert Higgs, cleveland.com 

May 18, 2016 at 3:40 PM, updated May 18, 2016 at 3:49 PM

The 10th District Ohio Court of Appeals this week upheld rulings in North Royalton's fight to thwart a driller who wants to put a horizontal well in the city. The court's ruling upheld previous findings that the city's safety concerns should be considered as the state evaluates whether to allow the drilling to proceed. (Bob Sandrick, cleveland.com)


COLUMBUS, Ohio – A state appellate court on Tuesday sided with North Royalton in a three-year fight to thwart an oil and gas driller who wants to frack for a new gas well in the city. 

 

The 10th District Ohio Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court and the Ohio Oil and Gas commission that the city's safety concerns were not properly considered before the chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management ordered the city's property be pooled with other land owners, clearing the way for the driller to proceed. 

Here's an explanation: 

The dispute 

The case arose after Richard Simmers, the chief of the state's Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, part of the Department of Natural Resources, approved a mandatory pooling order and drilling permit for Cutter Oil, a company with more than a dozen wells in North Royalton. The decision would allow Cutter to drill its first horizontal well in North Royalton. 

State regulations require at least 20 acres around the drill site. The law allows land owners to pool tracts of property to meet that minimum acreage.  

If a driller cannot get land owners to go along voluntarily, the driller can ask the state to order a mandatory pooling arrangement. The order pieces together land needed to meet the minimum acreage requirement. Land owners are compensated for their lost mineral rights. 

In December 2013, Simmons ordered the mandatory pooling agreement. About 2 acres of city property was included in acreage.

Safety concerns 

North Royalton, objecting to the mandatory pooling request, had sought to raise safety concerns with a state advisory council that collects information for the resources management division chief. The well would be Cutter's first to involve horizontal drilling and fracking. 

The city wanted to present information about three incidents: 

  • In 2008 a 700-foot long, one-half inch thick metal rod was ejected under pressure from a Cutter well near an elementary school and oil was sprayed from the well. 
  • In 2011 a production line at another well leaked oil into the city's storm sewer leading to Chippewa Creek. 
  • In 2012 a natural gas release at another well forced some residents to be evacuated. 

The advisory council focused solely on whether the land owners, including the city, were adequately compensated under the agreement, effectively negating the safety concerns.  

Fighting the orders 

After Simmers issued the pooling order and the drilling permit, North Royalton appealed to the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission, arguing its safety concerns should have been considered. 

The commission revoked the pooling order and drilling permit and found that the advisory council's an division chief's evaluation was too limited and told the council to consider the safety issues.  

Simmers, the chief, appealed that decision to Franklin County Common Pleas Court. It ruled the commission acted properly and that it would be illogical to "construe the law in a manner that ignored potential safety issues," according to the appellate court's ruling. 

That prompted an appeal to the 10th District Court, which on Tuesday sided with North Royalton.

"It is not surprising that the city has taken a more cautious approach to the drilling ..., " Judge Gary Tyack wrote in the court opinion. "The urbanized environment, the inexperience of Cutter Oil in drilling a horizontal well and prior safety incidents ... are of special concern to the city that is ... charged with the responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizenry." 

What happens next 

The resources management chief could appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court. 

If not, the case would return to the advisory council with instructions to gather information about the city's safety concerns before deciding on whether it should force land owners to be pooled together. 

See Judge Tyack's decision in which Judge Brunner concurred, here. Judge Lisa Sadler concurred in part and dissented in part.


Thursday, May 5, 2016 12:00 AM

Notable Women in Ohio Politics: Photo Gallery

Women have played an increasingly prominent role in Ohio politics during the past few decades. But it wasn't always this way. Until 1891, women were not allowed to watch legislative debates from the House gallery - according to legend, Abraham Lincoln refused to give a speech at the Ohio Statehouse in 1861 until women were allowed in as well, according to the Ohio Statehouse website. No woman held a seat in the state legislature until 1922, when six women were elected following the passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. Today, women have held every major statewide office in Ohio at one point or another - though the state's only female governor to date, Nancy Hollister, was only appointed to hold the job for less than two weeks. Here are some of the most notable women politicians in Ohio history. (Plain Dealer file)

Jennette Bradley
 
 
Jennette Bradley (sitting) was the nation's first black woman to serve as lieutenant governor. A Republican elected three times to the Columbus City Council, Bradley was elected Ohio's lieutenant governor alongside Gov. Bob Taft. In 2005, Taft appointed Bradley state treasurer, though she was defeated in the GOP primary the following year. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

 

Yvette McGee Brown

In 2011, Yvette McGee Brown became the first black woman ever to serve on the Ohio Supreme Court. Gov. Ted Strickland appointed the Columbus Democrat to the court after she ran (unsuccessfully) as Strickland's running mate in 2010. After losing her bid for re-election to the Supreme Court in 2012, Brown now works as an attorney in Columbus. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

 

Jennifer Brunner

Jennifer Brunner was elected in 2006 as the first female Ohio secretary of state. The Columbus Democrat previously worked as a Franklin County judge. Brunner ran for U.S. Senate in 2010 but lost the Democratic primary to Lee Fisher; in 2014, she was elected as a state appeals court judge. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

 

Maureen O'Connor

Maureen O'Connor is the first female chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Elected to the post in 2011, the Cleveland Heights Republican previously served as an associate justice since 2002 and as lieutenant governor under Gov. Bob Taft. As chief justice, she's pushed for -- among other things -- judicial pay raises and changes to how judges are elected. (Robert Higgs, cleveland.com)

 

Jo Ann Davidson

Jo Ann Davidson has been one of the most influential and iconic figures in Ohio politics. The Findlay Republican served in the Ohio House of Representatives for two decades, and in 1995 she was elected as the first female speaker of the House. Now 88, Davidson currently serves as Ohio's Republican National Committeewoman, a 2016 Republican National Convention delegate, and the chair of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, among other duties. In 2000, Davidson established the Jo Ann Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute to help and train Republican women to get involved in politics and public service. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

 

Nancy Hollister

Nancy Hollister, left, was sworn in as Ohio's first -- and, to date, only -- female governor on Dec. 31, 1998. Hollister, George Voinovich's lieutenant governor, served the last 11 days of Voinovich's term after he resigned to join the U.S. Senate. The Marietta Republican later served in the Ohio legislature, and earlier this week she was appointed to the Ohio State Board of Education. (AP Photo/Chris Kasson)

 

Betty Montgomery

Betty Montgomery served as Ohio's first female attorney general from 1995 until 2003. Then, after leaving the AG's office because of term limits, the Republican became the first women elected as Ohio state auditor. She's currently a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

 

Mary Taylor

Mary Taylor is the current lieutenant governor of Ohio -- the fourth woman to hold the office, and the first to be re-elected. A certified public accountant, the Republican from Green served in the Ohio legislature before succeeding Betty Montgomery as state auditor. She's currently eying a run for governor in 2018. (Thomas Ondrey, The Plain Dealer)

 

Nina Turner
 
Nina Turner served in the Ohio Senate between 2008 and 2014, becoming a prominent advocate for voting rights and other liberal issues. After the Cleveland Democrat unsuccessfully ran for Ohio secretary of state in 2014, she remained a frequent guest on national cable news shows, as well as an outspoken supporter of Bernie Sanders for president in 2016. (Henry J. Gomez, cleveland.com)

 

Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland.com


Thursday, April 14, 2016 12:00 AM

Brunner: How Senate Can Legally Change Supreme Court

From the Cincinnati Enquirer, April 14, 2016

Jennifer Brunner is a judge on Ohio’s 10th District Court of Appeals and former Democratic secretary of state for Ohio.

While some Senate Republicans and prominent conservatives are already serving up 44-year-old Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, as an alternative to U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick B. Garland, nominated by President Obama for the U.S. Supreme Court on March 16, the U.S. Supreme Court continues its work with just eight (rather than the legally required nine) justices.

Since Garland’s nomination less than a month ago, the high court has already tied 4-4 on its review of what is known as union “fair-share,” that is, whether non-members of a bargaining unit who benefit from a collectively bargained contract must pay fees in place of union dues to the union that got them their benefits and salary. Many labor organizations were bracing for the worst – until the unfortunate demise of Justice Antonin Scalia and the unprecedented stance of the Senate GOP – that no more hearings on Supreme Court vacancies will be held until the term of the 44th president, Barack Hussein Obama, has expired. With a 4-4 vote and what would appear to be a 4-4 tie on whether to set aside the labor decision until a new justice arrives, both the decisions on the merits and on extending the time to consider it failed.

So, what happens if someone else leaves the court before the end of Obama’s term? Will the high court function with just seven justices? And what if one of them needs to recuse, as Justice Samuel Alito did in a post-Scalia hearing involving investments by Puerto Rico? In that case the “liberal” members of the court became the court’s majority. Is that what the GOP wants? Is that what the American people want?

This really isn’t a Republican or Democratic question – it’s a “do your job” question based on the oaths of office of some of America’s most highly placed public servants.

With the stamp not yet dry on PN 1258, the president’s nomination of Garland, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the airwaves citing “the Biden rule.” At first it sounded like a “goose-and-gander” scenario that turned a June 25, 1992, floor speech of then-Sen. Joe Biden against Democrats.

It really wasn’t. With no nomination pending at the time, Biden, who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, gratuitously urged his colleagues to delay consideration of any Supreme Court nomination, if it occurred, until after the November election to avoid partisan rancor being a part of the nomination process. No vote was taken. Biden had just presided over the contentious confirmation hearings for now-Justice Clarence Thomas.

Many Americans likely do not realize that Congress has the power to control much of what the Supreme Court is authorized to do outside of the high court’s few, specific powers enumerated in the Constitution. Congress has allowed the Supreme Court to set rules of procedure for itself and lower federal courts. While the Constitution gives the high court the power to hear appeals, it gives Congress the power to define how that process will work. Even the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court is established by Congress and not by the Supreme Court or anyone else.

If the Senate wants to change the number of justices on the Supreme Court, it can constitutionally pass legislation now to do that and urge the House to adopt its bill. To simply refuse to hold hearings with the stated intention of waiting until there is a new president is putting the cart before the horse. If the Senate majority wants only eight members on the Supreme Court for the rest of Obama’s term, it has the power to do that – by legislation, not by speeches and entrenchment. The president has done his job; now it’s time for the Senate to act.


Paid for by Jennifer Brunner Committee
Gretchen Green, Treasurer
35 N. Fourth St., Ste. 200
Columbus, OH 43215-3614
Copyright 2019
Powered by CampaignPartner.com - Political Websites
Close Menu