COLUMBUS, OH—It has been two weeks 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 for Justice Brunner’s accountability to Ohio voters:
“Justice Jennifer Brunner has had two weeks to offer Ohio voters an explanation on how she can fairly preside over redistricting cases given her close relationships with litigants in all three lawsuits and her prior public statements committing her to side with the Democrats. Of particular concern is her close relationship with Obama Attorney General Eric Holder who openly advocates for gerrymandering in favor of Democrats.
“Justice Brunner should follow Justice Pat DeWine’s lead and offer Ohio voters a transparent, ethically sound justification for how she can maintain impartiality in redistricting cases. If not, Justice Brunner needs to do right by Ohioans and recuse herself.”
- 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 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 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.