Friday, March 7, 2003

Panelists disagree on how to select Ohio's judiciary

By Liz Sidoti
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Attorneys, judges, lawmakers and political insiders meeting Thursday to discuss how Ohio's judiciary is selected agreed on one thing - the current system has flaws.

A consensus on how to fix it, however, was not as clear-cut among the 30-some panelists, called the most diverse and comprehensive group to discuss the state's judiciary since the Constitutional Convention of 1912.

As a result, the panelists agreed to serve on committees to more closely examine - and recommend changes to - certain parts of the judiciary, including the qualifications of candidates, the length of terms, and the way campaigns are funded.

Chief Justice Thomas Moyer of the Ohio Supreme Court told the panelists he has heard from citizens that Ohio needs "to remove the taint of escalating campaign contributions, to restore civility to the process of selecting judges and to examine the qualifications of those who aspire to be judges."

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