Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A New Beginning

I wish you all the best in 2011 as the Supreme Court of Ohio starts a new year!

Every two years when January rolls around, at least two Justices participate in the administration of the oath of office. In fact, every judge and every other Ohio officeholder takes an oath to uphold the Constitution before starting a new term.
Today, I was sworn-in for a second time as a Justice at a public ceremony along with my colleague, Justice Paul Pfeifer. We were both fortunate to be re-elected by Ohio voters in November. Earlier this month, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justice Yvette McGee Brown, the Court’s newest member, also participated in public inaugurations.

Here’s what our oath says:

“I, (name), do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Ohio, will administer justice without respect to persons, and will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all of the duties incumbent upon me as (name of office) according to the best of my ability and understanding. [This I do as I shall answer unto God.]”

By law this oath is taken before our term begins, and it must be administered by a fellow member of the Court. That’s why Justices typically hold a small, informal private ceremony and then hold a public ceremony later.

You can watch the ceremonies on the Court’s website and see that we are now energized for 2011. I am also eager to continue to discuss important topics about the judiciary with you through this blog and look forward to your participation.