Judi French

Judi French

French, 58, has a bachelors degree in political science, a masters degree in history, and a J.D with honors. She currently serves as a justice on the Ohio Supreme Court. Describe what is motivating you to seek office: I am running for reelection as a justice of the Ohio Supreme Court because it’s the best job for a lawyer in Ohio. I love the challenging and diverse work. It is exceptionally rewarding to be a part of such meaningful decisions. My work off the bench is just as meaningful. In the nearly-eight years since taking office, I have traveled endlessly to educate the public about what we do and why it matters. And I have worked tirelessly to bring more attention and more legal resources to those who need them but can’t afford them. But there is more work to do, and I look forward to being a part of that work in my next term. Articulate your thoughts on the three issues you deem most important for the position in this election: First, a Supreme Court justice must be committed to resolving legal questions and cases impartially and without bias toward any position. As judges, we call balls and strikes; we do not take sides. Second, a Supreme Court justice must be committed to making the Ohio judiciary more responsive and more efficient. On the Supreme Court, it’s easy to accumulate a backlog of cases if each justice isn’t pulling his or her weight. We must work together to decide cases efficiently. And we must ensure that our local courts have the resources they need to modernize and meet the needs of their communities. Finally, a Supreme Court justice must work constantly to make the Ohio judicial system better. We must ensure that everyone—regardless of status, race or financial ability—has equal access to the justice system and can obtain legal services when they’re needed. If elected what are your goals for your term? I will serve the public by resolving conflicts impartially, carefully, and efficiently. I will respect my limited role in government. And I will use my voice as a justice to bring attention to inefficiency and inequality in the justice system and to advocate for and implement change. In particular, I will advocate for greater transparency in criminal sentencing. It is important for the Ohio judiciary to implement a uniform sentencing database, which would document every sentencing decision by every court in Ohio. This transparent database will reveal inequities that may exist in our justice system and create greater confidence in the judiciary. Do you have any additional comments or message to relay to the public? I have had the privilege of serving as a justice on the Ohio Supreme Court since January 1, 2013. In that time, I have cast thousands of votes. I have approached each one with unbiased impartiality and independence. I am proud to say that I have been a part of many improvements to Ohio’s judicial system—improvements that brought more resources to legal aid organizations and the individuals they serve, greater efficiency to the litigation process, and better service to Ohio lawyers and litigants. But there is more to do, and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead. At a more personal level, I aspire to be a servant leader. I have learned that, along with the hard work and responsibilities of being a justice, come resources and platforms for advocacy and change. Since taking office, I have traveled to all 88 counties many times, and I have met with individuals, organizations, businesses, and local leaders, all in an effort to serve them better. I will continue that level and method of service in my next term.

Know your candidates: Judi French

French, 58, has a bachelors degree in political science, a masters degree in history, and a J.D with honors. She currently serves as a justice on the Ohio Supreme Court.

Describe what is motivating you to seek office:

I am running for reelection as a justice of the Ohio Supreme Court because it’s the best job for a lawyer in Ohio. I love the challenging and diverse work. It is exceptionally rewarding to be a part of such meaningful decisions.

My work off the bench is just as meaningful. In the nearly-eight years since taking office, I have traveled endlessly to educate the public about what we do and why it matters. And I have worked tirelessly to bring more attention and more legal resources to those who need them but can’t afford them.

But there is more work to do, and I look forward to being a part of that work in my next term.

Articulate your thoughts on the three issues you deem most important for the position in this election:

First, a Supreme Court justice must be committed to resolving legal questions and cases impartially and without bias toward any position. As judges, we call balls and strikes; we do not take sides.

Second, a Supreme Court justice must be committed to making the Ohio judiciary more responsive and more efficient. On the Supreme Court, it’s easy to accumulate a backlog of cases if each justice isn’t pulling his or her weight. We must work together to decide cases efficiently. And we must ensure that our local courts have the resources they need to modernize and meet the needs of their communities.

Finally, a Supreme Court justice must work constantly to make the Ohio judicial system better. We must ensure that everyone—regardless of status, race or financial ability—has equal access to the justice system and can obtain legal services when they’re needed.

If elected what are your goals for your term?

I will serve the public by resolving conflicts impartially, carefully, and efficiently. I will respect my limited role in government. And I will use my voice as a justice to bring attention to inefficiency and inequality in the justice system and to advocate for and implement change.

In particular, I will advocate for greater transparency in criminal sentencing. It is important for the Ohio judiciary to implement a uniform sentencing database, which would document every sentencing decision by every court in Ohio. This transparent database will reveal inequities that may exist in our justice system and create greater confidence in the judiciary.

Do you have any additional comments or message to relay to the public?

I have had the privilege of serving as a justice on the Ohio Supreme Court since January 1, 2013. In that time, I have cast thousands of votes. I have approached each one with unbiased impartiality and independence.

I am proud to say that I have been a part of many improvements to Ohio’s judicial system—improvements that brought more resources to legal aid organizations and the individuals they serve, greater efficiency to the litigation process, and better service to Ohio lawyers and litigants. But there is more to do, and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead.

At a more personal level, I aspire to be a servant leader. I have learned that, along with the hard work and responsibilities of being a justice, come resources and platforms for advocacy and change. Since taking office, I have traveled to all 88 counties many times, and I have met with individuals, organizations, businesses, and local leaders, all in an effort to serve them better. I will continue that level and method of service in my next term.

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