Two Ohio Supreme Court candidates stood out to us as the better options for voters when they head to the polls next moth: 8th District Court of Appeals Judge Melody Stewart and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Donnelly.
Both are Democrats, have considerable experience on the bench and are well-regarded by lawyers around the state.
Stewart is running for the seat vacated by the court’s lone Democrat, former Justice William O’Neill, who resigned in January to run governor.
After O’Neill’s departure, Ohio Gov. John Kasich appointed then-7th District Court of Appeals Judge Mary DeGenaro, a Republican, to replace him. She had served on the appeals court for 17 years, and she had been planning to run for the seat even before Kasich selected her to fill out the remaining months of O’Neill’s term.
Stewart has sat on the 8th District Court of Appeals since 2006. She previously served as a professor at several law schools and worked as an assistant law director for the cities of Cle...
Stewart, 56, a Democrat of color who has served on the local appellate court for almost 12 years, would be much more if elected: a change-maker on a high court that is entirely white and entirely Republican and that needs to intensify its oversight of those judges who fail to adhere to judicial canons, fail to act with respect to all those who come before them and sometimes even fail to show up on time.
"I would vehemently work to push some reforms to make the judicial system overall more effective, more efficient and more accountable," Stewart vowed in the endorsement interview.
...Stewart, her legal acumen attested to by her peers, would bring a different frame of reference to the Ohio Supreme Court in a state whose diversity is not reflected in that august body.Voters should elect Melody J. Stewart to the Ohio Supreme Court in the Jan. 2 term.
Voters will find two races for the Ohio Supreme Court on the Nov. 6 ballot. One involves filling the vacancy that Justice Terrence O’Donnell will create when he steps down at the end of the year. The other goes back to William O’Neill departing the high court in January...
We recommend the election of Melody Stewart on Nov. 6.
Stewart has spent the past 12 years as a judge on the 8th District Ohio Court of Appeals, which covers Cuyahoga County. She has won respect for the high quality of her work, especially for showing a timely and constructive brand of independence. What impresses, too, is the richness of her background and perspectives.
As a Democrat and an African-American, Stewart would add obvious diversity to an all-Republican and all-white court. More telling are her degree in music from the University of Cincinnati, her early experience in health care management, her doctorate in applied social science, time as a law professor and practicing law.
Ohio voters won’t change the gender balance on the Ohio Supreme Court when they fill two seats on the seven-member bench on Nov. 6, but they could bring new perspectives to the all-Republican, all-white court.
The other seat will be filled by a female judge — either appointed Justice Mary DeGenaro, a Republican from Youngstown, or 8th District Court of Appeals Judge Melody Stewart, a Democrat from Cleveland. While both are highly qualified, The Dispatch believes Melody Stewart, an African-American Ph.D. and former law professor, would provide some valuable new perspectives on the state’s highest court.