Skindell Supreme Court Rumor Confirmed
I have been hearing for weeks that the Ohio Democratic Party planned to tap state Senator Mike Skindell of the Cleveland area to run for the third Supreme Court slot, against Justice Terence O'Donnell.
The party had a completely unknown candidate in that slot, attorney Robert Price, but he dropped out months ago and no one seemed to realize he'd ever been in anyway. (the Dispatch piece says he dropped out this month, but it was actually early April).
So I guess we'll be adding Skindell's name to the lengthy list of excellent candidates that Ohio Democrats have run for Supreme Court in the last decade and couldn't get elected. Since it waited two and a half months after Price's withdrawal to name another candidate, with time getting short, it's hard to see how Skindell, who has only run for office on the west side of Cuyahoga, has time to build any name recognition statewide.
It will be interesting to see if he gets any help from the state party, and if this will change up their game with the Supreme Court. So far that game has been to talk about Justice Yvette McGee Brown, Governor Strickland's appointee, endlessly, and act like Judge Bill O'Neill, running for Robert Cupp's seat, doesn't exist.
Cupp and O'Donnell should both go. Both embarrassed themselves last month with partisan votes in favor of decertifying the Freedom to Marry petition campaign for no valid reason. Four of their Republican Supreme Court colleagues agreed with Republican attorney general Mike DeWine that there were no legal issues with the petition drive.
Clearly neither Cupp nor O'Donnell is a brilliant legal mind. In fact, O'Donnell snagged the front page of the New York Times in October 2006 with a lengthy article about how he decided in favor of his campaign donors 91% of the time when a case involving one of them came before them (LIke Clarence Thomas, he apparently has never heard the word "recuse."). Skindell is bright and knowledgeable, and as a legislator has always shown more concern for the interests of regular working people than wealthy special interests. Clearly, his election would be a step up for the court. But given the ODP's approach to running Supreme Court candidates, I have to think, sadly, he hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell.