Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Court’s New Mural Captures Women’s Impact

The art within the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center shares the history of Ohio and the state judicial system. A new three-painting mural, “Century of Women and the Law,” is the latest addition. The mural illustrates the fight for women’s right to vote and recognizes the 13 women out of 162 total justices to serve on the Supreme Court of Ohio.

“In addition to being the story of women’s suffrage, [the artwork] is the story of the evolution of what it means to be a free person with inalienable rights in Ohio,” said Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor.

The story of the mural begins in 1912 with the portrayal of suffragists demonstrating in front of the Mahoning County courthouse. The second panel depicts the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. The last piece represents the women who have served as justices of Ohio’s high court. Among the 13 are Florence Allen – the first woman to serve on a state supreme court – and Chief Justice O’Connor, the first woman elected as chief justice and the longest-serving statewide elected woman in Ohio history.

“The artwork here is diverse and now it begins to reflect diversity in its subjects,” Chief Justice O’Connor said. “That will instill the idea in young girls and boys that women belong in these hallowed halls.”

Artist and attorney Nils Johnson spent approximately 500 hours painting the piece he donated to the Supreme Court. He is part of the group that recommended the piece that recognizes the accomplishments of women. As vice-chair of the Court’s commission for the Judicial Center, he and fellow members advise the Court about what can be added to the building to be more representative of the people who shaped the state and its judicial branch.

“What these women did over the past 100 years to advance our democracy should be known by everyone,” said Johnson. “The consequences of those actions are why we have a woman majority on the Supreme Court today.”

The mural will be placed near the Native American Lobby where most school tour groups enter the Moyer Judicial Center. A first impression that could shape the next 100 years of the state and its justice system.

‘Every school child, regardless of gender, race, or religion, should get the message that they, too, can study hard, represent well, and be a leader,” Chief Justice O’Connor said.