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ON THE BALLOT: Jennifer Brunner for Chief Justice by Morgan Young

It's time to learn about the candidates on the November 08 ballot. This is a BIG election that will affect our daily lives. Meet Justice Jennifer Brunner, candidate for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court

“Courts belong to the people.” - Justice Jennifer Brunner

Justice Jennifer Brunner is running for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court in the November 08 General Election.

You may recognize her as one of three women campaigning together for the Ohio Supreme as the “3 Sisters in Law.” The other two members of her trio are Judge Marilyn Zayas and Judge Terri Jamison, who are hoping to gain seats in the Court.

Justice Brunner, who has been on the Ohio Supreme Court for two years, says, “My campaign is based on my vision for a justice system in Ohio that operates with accountability, openness, and fairness to all and that promotes access to justice;” it is a campaign “for and about the people.”

Specific policy items on Brunner’s platform include

-continuing support for pandemic recovery efforts

-establishing a task force to examine and reform inequality and discrimination in Ohio’s criminal justice system

-objectively evaluating practices, policies, and laws using data to determine if they fulfill their purposes

-creating a task force for environmental justice and conservation

-providing drug and mental health treatment for those affected by the opioid crisis

Brunner was part of the bulwark on the current OSC that ruled the redrawn legislative and Congressional districts as unconstitutional. As a Justice, she has also worked for bail reform, promoted technology initiatives to make the Court more accessible, and supported safe access for transgender people to obtain accurate records such as birth certificates.

Brunner also served as a judge on the Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals in Columbus. She was elected as Ohio’s first female Secretary of State and is the only candidate in the race to hold a State office. Brunner was a Franklin County Common Pleas judge, and she has experience in private law practice, including founding her own law firm in 1988. She has state government experience from the Ohio Senate and the Secretary of State’s office where she worked as a staff attorney.

As a trial judge, Brunner founded the Treatment is Essential to Success Program to address drug addiction. She was the Board Ally Chair that helped create The Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation, offering scholarships and technical support for the LGBTQ+ community. And she served for six years as a board member of Mental Health America of Franklin County.

Justice Brunner authored a memoir titled Cupcakes and Courage and hosts a web series titled “Achieving Justice” that aims to educate Ohioans about the judicial system through interviews with judges and candidates.

Justice Brunner received her JD with honors from Capital University Law School and her undergraduate degree in sociology-gerontology, cum laude, from Miami University (1978.)

About the Position

The Ohio Supreme Court is the highest court in our state. The Court decides which cases to review and sets the rule of law in for Ohio. In addition to deciding cases with the other six Justices, as the superintendent, the Chief Justice has the power to shape the administration of justice and the practice of law in the state. Among other responsibilities, the Chief Justice decides on motions for disqualification for lower court judges, appoints the judges of the Ohio Court of Claims, and assigns judges to hear cases.


Video on Brunner’s Platform:

Profile from the Ohio Supreme Court:

More about the Sentencing Database for Equality:




Achieving Justice Series - Interview with Judge Marilyn Zayas:

Achieving Justice Series - Interview with Judge Terri Jamison:

Achieving Justice Series - Interview with Magistrate Kirsten Pscholka-Gartner:

Ballotpedia Profile:

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