Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Ohio Chief Justice O’Connor Named to Lead Two National Court Organizations

Image of Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor

Image of Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor

Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor has been elected president of the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and chair of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Board of Directors. The one-year positions became effective this week during CCJ’s annual conference and NCSC’s Board of Directors meetings in Philadelphia.

Founded in 1949 and comprised of the top judicial officers of each state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, CCJ promotes the interests and effectiveness of state judicial systems by developing policies and educational programs designed to improve court operations. CCJ also acts as the primary representative of the state courts before Congress and federal executive agencies.

“Chief Justice O’Connor has earned a national reputation as a strong and effective leader who is committed to improving the justice system,” NCSC President Mary C. McQueen said. “As co-chair of the National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices, she is committed to make significant reforms that improve the justice system for everyone. We will all benefit from her leadership.”

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor is the 10th chief justice and the first woman in Ohio history to lead the Ohio judicial branch.

Since she took office in 2011, Chief Justice O’Connor has led significant reforms and improvements in the Ohio judicial system, including improving access to justice by addressing the impact that court fines, fees, and bail practices have on economically disadvantaged communities. In addition, she established a task force to maintain public trust and confidence in grand juries, created a committee to examine the administration of the death penalty, and proposed improvements to strengthen judicial elections in Ohio.

She joined the Supreme Court of Ohio as a justice in January 2003 and was re-elected in November 2008. She was elected chief justice in 2010 and was re-elected to a second six-year term in 2016.

Her first statewide judicial election in 2002, in which she took more than 57 percent of the vote, made her the 148th justice to the court, the sixth woman to join the court, and gave the court its first-ever female majority.

Chief Justice O'Connor's career in public service and the law spans three decades and includes service as a private lawyer, magistrate, common pleas court judge, prosecutor, and Supreme Court justice. In 1998, she was elected lieutenant governor — the second-highest official in the state. She became the governor's chief adviser on criminal justice issues, serving as director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and as chair of Ohio's Security Task Force and the State Building Security Review Committee.

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.

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