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Why These Races Matter

No matter our race, party or zip code, most of us believe that our elected leaders should reflect our values and govern for all of us, no exceptions. That includes the justices on our state’s highest court, the Ohio Supreme Court.

The last few years have demonstrated how fragile our democracy can be when confronted with a global pandemic, civil unrest, and extreme political partisanship. Fortunately, state court judges have stepped up during this difficult time to protect the sanctity of our elections and stop radical politicians from taking away our rights and freedoms. We need independent state courts now more than ever. 

In some countries, courts aren’t independent from the other political branches of government. As a result, those political branches pursue their own self interest without any oversight or consequence from the courts. Having an independent judicial branch — both at the state and federal level — is a cornerstone of America’s government and way of life.

We are at a critical point right now. Fair elections, fair maps, and our very own reproductive and individual freedoms are on the line. We have the power to shape our Ohio Supreme Court if we vote.

Six judicial candidates are running for three seats on the Ohio Supreme Court this November. We have the opportunity as Ohio voters to protect our vision for Ohio: an Ohio that reflects our values and preserves our rights and freedoms so that everyone can thrive.

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Ohio Supreme Court Basics

The Ohio Supreme Court is the state's highest court and is composed of seven justices — one of whom is the Chief Justice — who serve for six year terms. Ohio voters elect Justices in staggered elections, meaning we vote on two Justices in even-numbered years, and three Justices when the Chief Justice is on the ballot. 

Currently, the political balance of the court is split 4 Republicans to 3 Democrats. In the past, justices ran on nonpartisan ballots in the general election. This is the first year where partisan labels will be listed on the ballot for Supreme Court candidates.

The Ohio Supreme Court justices decide all state constitutional questions, cases involving questions of public or general interest, and all criminal appeals where the death penalty has been imposed.

In 2022, voters will elect a new Chief Justice, and two additional Justices.

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