March 5, 2010
151 Ohio Justices Have Included Seven Women
With National Women’s History Month beginning this week, here are a few facts and figures about the women who have served as Justices on the Ohio Supreme Court since 1803.
Florence E. Allen, who served from 1923 to 1934, was the first. Because of this distinction and for other reasons, Allen was named a “Great Ohioan” in January by the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board and the Capitol Square Foundation. Allen’s other “firsts” included being the first woman elected to a U.S. court of last resort, the first woman elected to a judicial office in Ohio, the first woman assistant county prosecutor in the United States, and the first woman appointed to a federal appeals court judgeship.
It wasn’t until nearly 50 years later that another woman joined the Supreme Court when Blanche Krupansky served from 1981 to 1983. A short six years later, Justice Alice Robie Resnick became the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court on Jan. 2, 1989.
Since the late 1980s women serving as Supreme Court Justices became more commonplace and, in fact, came in rapid succession. With the 2002 election of Justice Maureen O’Connor to her first term, the Supreme Court had its first-ever female majority, which also included Justices Resnick, Deborah L. Cook (fourth woman to serve on the Court) and Evelyn Lundberg Stratton (fifth woman to serve on the Court). However brief with Justice Cook’s appointment to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in May 2003, the milestone had been achieved. Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger became the seventh woman and 150th Justice overall to serve as a Supreme Court Justice when she was elected in 2004.
To date, the seven women Justices of the Supreme Court of Ohio still represent a small minority over time of less than five percent of the 151 people who have served on the high court in Ohio’s 207-year history.