© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Government & Politics
2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Watchdog Group Raises Concern Over Impartiality of Ohio Judges

photo of lady justice
SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Even though judicial races are considered nonpartisan in Ohio, judicial campaigns are usually funded with campaign contributions. A government watchdog group’s report says once they’re on the bench, judges don’t recuse themselves when hearing a case involving those donors.

Common Cause’s Catherine Turcer says the report shows judges continue to hear cases involving their contributors and more often than not, rule in favor of them. She’s quick to say that doesn’t mean justice is for sale but she says it doesn’t look good for the judicial system.

“Unless you have the guardrails in place to make sure all judges step away so they don’t hear the cases of their campaign contributors, all Ohioans are going to wonder about their impartiality.”

Turcer says other states have those guardrails. She says more transparency will help and says there are ways Ohio could set standards for recusal that would insure fairness.