Transparency in Judicial Appointments


(Photo: Nycourts.gov)

Ohio Gov. Strickland has come out with his position on transparency in government, and his walk is tracking with his talk.

Strickland has established the Ohio Judicial Appointments Recommendation Panel (OJARP) to assist him in the selection of judges for vacancies in Ohio courts. The Ohio Constitution gives the governor the authority to fill vacant judicial posts in Ohio courts when judges retire or resign. Strickland believes those appointments ought to go to the most qualified people, and the public ought to be able to be a part of the selection process.

“Ohioans deserve a transparent and inclusive government and, under my administration, that will include the process of selecting judicial appointees,” Strickland said. “By establishing this new panel, we will help ensure that the most qualified judges will carry out the critical role of presiding over the courts in Ohio.”

OJARP will evaluate the qualifications of applicants for open positions on the bench and make non-binding recommendations to the governor. In addition to appointing five at-large members to the panel, the governor will designate one member to serve as chair and leader of panel operations. Regional groups consisting of six members, including labor and consumer representatives and a representative for the area’s business and industry interests, will be appointed by the governor when vacancies come up in their region.

“The establishment of this panel continues our efforts to restore trust and integrity in Ohio’s government,” Strickland said.

The current panel, chaired by a female judge with three additional women and one man, begins operation today.

Will Columbus ever be the same? Keeping the public informed and women in positions of authority, really! What will these radical Democrats come up with next — government to protect people and not business interests? (Insert a shocked expression here.)

— Margo Pierce

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2 Comments on “Transparency in Judicial Appointments”

  1. Every Cincinnatian Says:

    We wonder whether the five members of the OJARP appointed at the sole discretion of our Governor to renewable two-year terms will “go to the most qualified people” and whether “the public [will] be a part of the selection process” – the same goes for the regional groups of six members.

    We would like to know if any compensation, besides the obvious prestige and power, will be received by the OJARP panel members.

    It seems to us that our new Governor is showing tremendous political creativity and astuteness by dramatically expanding his ability to dole out patronage under the guise of increased transparency.

  2. Margo Says:

    Cincinnatian,

    No monetary reimbursement is provided to any panel participants at any level, according to Governor Strickland’s press secretary, Keith Dailey. He says this model – for making recommendations and the volunteer structure – is original. After studying appointment methods in all 50 states, the Strickland team came up with their unique approach to fit the way Ohio fills vacant judiciary position.

    Last time I checked, one of the perks of being an elected official and living with a target on your back is having the opportunity and ability to influence what happens in government. There will always going to be something to bitch about – you seem to have chosen “patronage under the guise of increased transparency.” Why? How do you define transparency?

    When is the last time you head of a Governor giving a rat’s ass about public opinion when it came to his or her judicial appointments? This guy is making an effort in the right direction – making people aware of the process in our state and giving them a voice. He doesn’t HAVE to do any of this – he was elected so he could just thumb his nose at us and say lump it – as has been done for many years in this state.

    No, our system isn’t the greatest and change doesn’t come over night, but this is a start. If you want to whine about it then get involved in the process, make a constructive suggestion or go find a shiny object to play with in the corner while the rest of us try to have an intelligent conversation about the political process.

    PS
    Window cleaner is great for getting those distracting finger prints off shiny surfaces.


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