The announcement by Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill that he intends to run for governor raises questions about his ongoing role with the state high court. Now the only Democrat on the court has announced he will recuse himself from all new cases, for the time being.
In a letter to the clerk of the Supreme Court of Ohio, O’Neill said he will recuse himself from future cases until Feb. 7th. That’s the date by which he must formally file if he intends to run for governor and step down from the bench.
O’Neill says he wants to avoid any appearance of impropriety. But he says he will vote and participate in the nearly 100 cases that have been submitted and not yet released. And he says if he decides not to run for governor after all, he will resume participating in all cases until his elected term ends in January 2019. O’Neill, the only Democrat on the court, cannot run for re-election because of age limits for that position.
He also says he won’t run if Consumer Protection Bureau Chief Richard Cordray joins the race.