Judge Yvette McGee Brown will replace Justice Maureen O’Connor who defeated Strickland appointee Eric Brown for Chief Justice of the Court. Justice Brown will be the first African-American female Justice on the court.
Justice Brown is the first African-American on the Court since Justice Lloyd Brown was on the Court in 1973, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Joe Hallett. (I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t even born yet.) Justice Brown will be only the third African-American to have ever sat on the Ohio Supreme Court.
Brown has committed to run to keep the seat in 2012 when O’Connor’s current term would expire. The Dispatch reports that Governor Strickland also consider his chief legal counsel, Kent Marcus, and recent Supreme Court candidate/Geauga County appellate Judge Mary Jane Trapp as well. I guess that means Attorney General Richard Cordray informed the Governor’s office he was not interested in the position as he’s rumored to be mulling a potential gubernatorial bid in 2014, and some believe the ethical judicial cannons and customs of the Court would make such a political transition difficult.
As much as I respect both Markus and Trapp, who either would have made superb picks to the Ohio Supreme Court, I really like this decision.
Justice Brown was a well respected jurist during her time on the bench in Franklin County, she’s also highly respected in the business community statewide, and she’s proven to be a very effective campaigner.
All in all, Justice Brown has everything you’d want in a Supreme Court pick.