COLUMBUS, OH—It has been nearly two months since the Ohio Republican Party brought to light Justice Jennifer Brunner’s serious conflicts of interest with litigants in all three redistricting cases. Chairman Bob Paduchik issued the following statement calling once more for Justice Brunner’s accountability to Ohio voters:
“If Justice Jennifer Brunner continues refusing to give Ohio voters an explanation on how she can fairly preside over redistricting cases given her close financial and personal ties with redistricting litigants, particularly Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, we will make it a major campaign issue.
“Ohio residents deserve an impartial constitutional review of the newly drawn districts—Justice Brunner has shown she is incapable of providing a fair opinion. Until she recuses herself or justifies to Ohioans how she can maintain impartiality, Ohio voters will hold Justice Brunner accountable at the ballot box next November.”
- Former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder was the VIP guest at a 2020 fundraiser for Jennifer Brunner’s campaign for Ohio Supreme Court. Holder is chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a plaintiff in the second lawsuit suit.
- The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund, in a 2020 endorsement of Brunner, stated “Judge Brunner is committed to defending our democracy and upholding a fair redistricting process when new legislative and political boundaries are drawn.” The OECAF parent organization, Ohio Environmental Council, is a plaintiff in the third lawsuit.
- Brunner launched the Ohio Redistricting Competition with League of Women Voters of Ohio and Common Cause Ohio. League of Women Voters is a plaintiff in the first lawsuit, while Common Cause did the bidding of Democrats throughout the redistricting process. Additionally, Brunner has recruited volunteers to support League of Women Voters activities.
- As a candidate, Brunner repeatedly indicated she would side with the Democrats in redistricting cases, even running a Facebook post soliciting donations “to end partisan redistricting.” Ohio’s Rules of judicial conduct require recusal when a judge has made a statement that “commits or appears to commit” them to a particular result in a case.