Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Justice Jennifer Brunner Sworn in to Ohio Supreme Court

Image of Justice Jennifer Brunner

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Brunner

Image of Justice Jennifer Brunner

Ohio Supreme Court Justice
Jennifer Brunner

The ceremonial investiture of an Ohio Supreme Court justice often takes place in the majestic courtroom of the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center in Columbus.

But during these unusual times, the setting for Justice Jennifer Brunner – the Court’s 162nd justice – was virtual, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor traveled to Columbiana County to swear in Justice Brunner at her home in a small, socially distanced gathering. The oath was recorded and played the next day during a virtual ceremony held via Zoom that featured the new justice’s family, friends and former judicial colleagues.

“I have to honestly say I never pictured myself being a Supreme Court justice,” Justice Brunner said during the virtual ceremony. “Now that I'm here, I couldn't be happier.”

“The rule of law should be admired, respected, and trusted by the people,” she said. “…It is our calling to never forget who we serve.”
Justice Brunner’s mother, Barbara Gates, joined the ceremony to read Carl Sandburg’s poem “Prayers of Steel,” and vocalist Laura Camara, daughter of Justice Brunner and her husband Rick, sang “America the Beautiful.” Three of the Brunner’s grandchildren led the virtual guests in the “Pledge of Allegiance.” 

“I welcome Justice Brunner to the Court,” Chief Justice O’Connor said. “I hope that Justice Brunner finds her work at the Court as rewarding as it is challenging.  Each justice brings varied experiences and perspectives to the job and I’m sure that I speak for my colleagues in saying we look forward to working with our new colleague.”

Justice Brunner was elected in November. Her judicial experience includes six years on the Tenth District Court of Appeals in Columbus and five years on the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. She made history in 2007 when she became the first female Ohio Secretary of State.

Justice Brunner received her bachelor’s degree from Miami University and her law degree from Capital University.

A native of Springfield, the Brunners were married in 1978 and have three children and six grandchildren.

View the ceremony here.