Sunday, March 9, 2003

Taft announces process for filling
high court seat

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Gov. Bob Taft on Friday announced the procedure by which he will pick a replacement for Ohio Supreme Court Justice Deborah Cook, should the U.S. Senate confirm her nomination to a federal appeals court.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Cook's nomination on Feb. 27, but the full Senate has yet to vote. Her nomination may be held up by the dispute over the nomination of Miguel Estrada for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. President Bush nominated Cook in 2001.

Under Ohio law, Taft, a Republican, will appoint the replacement for Cook, also a Republican. To be a judge in Ohio, a person must be a lawyer who has practiced for at least six years and must be 70 or younger on the day of appointment or election.

Taft also said he would look for candidates who are impartial, possess skill and experience, demonstrate a commitment to community, social and moral responsibility and be able to run for election in 2004.

Applications will be taken until March 21 and be reviewed by Taft's chief of staff, Brian Hicks, and chief legal adviser Judith French.

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