Candidate for Ohio State Supreme Court Chief Justice Jennifer Brunner: “Courts Belong to the People”
By: Melinda B

 Ohio born (Springfield) and educated (Miami University and Capital University Law School), Candidate for Ohio State Supreme Court Chief Justice Jennifer Brunner has a vision for an Ohio justice system with “accountability, openness, and fairness to all.”

     Already a Justice on the Ohio State Supreme Court, Brunner has the outstanding experience needed to press for this vision, having served previously as Franklin County trial court judge and Ohio’s first woman Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, she received the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award for reform of Ohio’s voting system.

     If elected as Chief Justice, Brunner will work to implement the recommendations from the Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness 1999 Report – many of which remain unaddressed! Central to this effort will be the convening of a diverse task force to establish a permanent commission on Fairness and Equality in Ohio’s Courts. Also, closely related, and a top priority, will be the establishment of a state-wide Criminal Sentencing Database. Currently, sentencing is markedly different across different demographies. Capturing accurate data will allow for greater fairness!

     Brunner’s additional policy goals as Chief Justice would include innovating specialized dockets (problem-solving courts), naming a Task Force on Environmental Justice, working to support needed technology for Ohio’s courts, working to ensure the immediate and long-term fiscal health of the courts, continuing and expanding public education programs to inform young people about government and the courts, and continuing the work of the Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative. In the area of bail reform, Brunner would continue to work for reforms “that promote good behavior in the community and keep people safe, such as conditions of bond that include continued employment, drug testing, and innovations to promote productive and therapeutically supported behavior while awaiting trial or post-trial hearings.” She would also promote the work begun by Chief Justice O’Connor’s Ohio Supreme Court Task Force on Wrongful Convictions.

     Lastly, and importantly, Justice Brunner has pledged never to accept campaign contributions from any public utility in the state. As Candidate for Chief Justice of Ohio’s State Supreme Court, Justice Brunner clearly deserves all of our support!