October 13, 2006
Letter to the Editor
The following was submitted to the Columbus Dispatch on Friday, Oct. 6, 2007.
The Columbus Dispatch
34 S.3rd Street
Columbus, OH 43215
The Columbus Bar Association disagrees with your Sunday, October 1 headline ("Analysis Hints at Judicial Favors") and analysis in the article about campaign contributions and the voting patterns of Justices on the Ohio Supreme Court. The Columbus Bar believes that the headline is misleading and the analysis incomplete in that it ignores other very reasonable explanations for the Justices’ votes on cases before them.
In Thursday’s Dispatch op-editorial on the same topic, Mr. Sheller got it right in both headline and content when he recognized that a judicial candidate forms a particular viewpoint before ever running for election to the bench. It is that viewpoint that attracts dollars from donors and votes from the public, not the other way around. By nature of their positions and regardless of their donors, a judge’s personal standard about what is right and fair in a case is what guides his or her decisions.
We believe that it is Ohio’s voters who count most in this discussion. We hope they study all candidates; look into the character, background, and philosophy which a candidate seems to embrace and make informed decisions at the polls.