Friday, March 30, 2012

Visitor Education Center Hits Record

Temperatures were not the only record highs for March 2012. Did you visit us at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center this month? If so, you helped make history – our Visitor Education Center saw a record number – 2,780 students in March, the most since the center opened in 2005. That’s about 1,200 more visitors this month than in March of last year.

The record number was due in part to transportation grants awarded to 100 schools across the state. The grants, worth up to $400, were awarded to Ohio schools that might not otherwise get to visit the Supreme Court due to budget constraints in their districts. The Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center Foundation donated $30,000 to the Visitor Education Center last fall specifically to fund the transportation grants.

One teacher from Andrew J. Rickoff Elementary School in Cleveland said most of her students are unable to leave the city and said she was extremely grateful for the opportunity to visit the center thanks to the transportation grants.

“As an urban educator, I never know how an experience will affect my students. However, I do know that by finding opportunities and providing them with many experiences allow them to have wide variety of back ground knowledge that doesn’t come out of a book,” Martha Verde said.

The Visitor Education Center is a dynamic teaching tool offering students grades 4th and above and inside look at Ohio Courts. There are interactive exhibits that portray the workings and history of the judicial system with hands-on materials and engaging exhibits and videos.

The Visitor Education Center is located on the Ground Floor of the Moyer Judicial Center in downtown Columbus. Visitors are welcome Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations for groups of eight or more are required and school tours typically last 90 minutes. You can call 614.387.9223 or e-mail to schedule a tour.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ask Justice Judy - Did you want to be a judge when you were a kid?

In the first in a series on the Justice Judy Blog, today we answer a question from Kelsea T., a fourth-grader from Highland Park Elementary School in Grove City.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Age is the only limit for judges’ terms

A Constitutional Modernization Commission will be meeting this year to consider changes to the Ohio Constitution. One of those potential changes concerns whether to eliminate term limits.

Did you know that term limits don’t affect judges?

Members of the General Assembly and statewide elected officials cannot serve more than eight consecutive years in the same position. Judges, meanwhile, can serve as long as voters continue to elect them, with one exception.

Under the Constitution, in most cases, judges cannot serve after they turn 70 years old. Here’s what the Constitution says:

“No person shall be elected or appointed to any judicial office if on or before the day when he shall assume the office and enter upon the discharge of its duties he shall have attained the age of seventy years.”

And although the Constitution refers to “he,” many women serve as judges too. All judges serve six-year terms, while the statewide officials of the other branches of government and members of the Ohio Senate serve four-year terms. Members of the Ohio House of Representatives serve two-year terms.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nearly four decades of service

Three weeks ago, I told you about the person who served the shortest amount of time on the Ohio Supreme Court: Hocking Hunter. Who served the longest?

Edward S. Matthias was elected in 1914 and spent more than 38 years on the court. He worked with 33 other judges (they weren’t called justices yet) during this time and it’s estimated that he wrote more than 1,000 opinions for the Ohio Supreme Court.

Ohio voters apparently liked the Matthias name, because they elected Edward’s son – John M. Matthias – to the Court in 1954 to complete his father’s unexpired term. The younger Judge Matthias served for nearly 16 years.

Judges Edward and John Matthias are only the second father-son succession on the Ohio Supreme Court in its 209-year history. The other was Paul M. and Thomas M. Herbert.

To read his full biography, click on this link:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Statehood Day Honors Ohio’s Admittance Into the Union

Did you know that Ohio was the 17th state to be admitted to the Union? There is some dispute about the actual date in 1803 when that occurred, but Statehood Day is marked by historical and preservation societies in the Buckeye state every March 1.

Today, a lunchtime celebration will be held at the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, featuring one of Ohio’s favorite sons. John Glenn, a former U.S. Senator from Ohio and the first American astronaut to orbit the earth 50 years ago, will be the keynote speaker. Admission is free.

Even if you won’t be in our capital city, there are ways to remember the birthday of our state. Take a look at the Ohio Statehouse website for interesting information about Ohio.

You might also want to see photographs of the actual documents that show the birth of the state, dating back to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.

There is a wealth of material available to help us appreciate our roots. Happy 209th birthday Ohio!