Kasich appoints Columbus judge to Ohio high court


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Gov. John Kasich appointed appellate judge Judith French to the Ohio
Supreme Court on Thursday.
has served on the 10th District Court of Appeals in Columbus since
2004. Before that, she served as chief legal counsel to Gov. Bob Taft
and chief counsel and assistant attorney general under Attorney General
Betty Montgomery.
Kasich named French as his pick to fill the two
years remaining on the term of Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, who
announced her retirement this spring. French would have to run in 2014
to remain on the court.
She will be one of three new faces after
two incumbent justices — Democrat Yvette McGee Brown and Republican
Robert Cupp — lost their November re-election bids. Neither McGee Brown
nor Cupp was among the 13 judges and lawyers who applied to fill
Lundberg Stratton’s opening.
The retiring justice said in May that
she had decided to "pursue a different course" helping disabled
veterans caught up in the criminal justice system.
Stratton, 59,
plans to take on a state and national role directing troubled veterans
to benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs,
perhaps as a consultant. Since Stratton created a statewide advisory
committee on mental health issues in the state, Ohio has gone from
having two mental health courts to 34 such courts and 144 specialized
She said the intensive workload and ethical restrictions
of being a justice kept her from working on social causes she is
passionate about.
Stratton, a Republican, spent 16 years on the high court.
will serve a term scheduled to end Jan. 1, 2015. She received her
bachelor’s, master’s and law degrees from The Ohio State University.
picking French, Kasich passed by Ohio State Bar Association president
Patrick Fischer, a Cincinnati appellate judge, and Hamilton County
Common Pleas Judge Pat DeWine, the son of Ohio Attorney General Mike
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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