On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

May 23, 2011
Supreme Court Launches Historical Justices' Biography Site

Two fourth-graders from Monroe Elementary School watch Hilary Damaser (far right), former Court employee and now a senior assistant attorney general, play the role of Justice Florence Allen, the first female justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio, during a visit to the Ohio Judicial Center.Fourth-graders from Monroe Elementary School in Butler County had a close encounter today with the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio as the Court unveiled a new Web site that tells the stories of the 153 men and women who have served on the Supreme Court since 1803.

Hilary Damaser, a former Court employee and now a senior assistant attorney general, played the role of Justice Florence Allen and answered questions from the 100 students, their parents and their teachers, who were all visiting the Ohio Judicial Center.

The event served to highlight the newly launched site that has biographies and photos of Justices and is a joint project of the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio Historical Society:  http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/SCO/formerjustices/default.asp.

While the real Justice Allen left the Court in 1934 and died in 1966, the students were also joined by the sixth woman Justice of the Court, current Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger.

“Students of Ohio history and the law, teachers, parents and anyone with an interest in the Supreme Court can now easily learn more about the people who have served on the Court through the years,” said Justice Lanzinger, a former teacher who is active in educating students about the judicial branch through her blog www.justicejudy.blogspot.com. “The history of the Court comes to life through these stories.”

The bio site includes biographies of the current serving Justices in addition to every other Justice who has served, dating back to Return Jonathan Meigs Jr. who served as the first chief judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio beginning April 2, 1803. Meigs also served as Ohio’s fourth governor and the fifth U.S. postmaster general. Meigs County in southeastern Ohio is named after him.

The biographies were completed as a joint research project by the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio Historical Society. The entries offer brief biographical sketches that focus mainly on the Justices’ judicial, legal, and public service careers. They are not intended to be comprehensive histories of a justice’s life or times. Readers who find errors or omissions are encouraged to contact the Office of Public Information at PublicInformation@sc.ohio.gov.

Florence Ellinwood Allen’s life and judicial service can be described in many “firsts.” She was the first woman assistant county prosecutor in the United States and the first woman elected to a judicial office in Ohio. Later, she became the first woman in the nation to be elected to a court of the last resort – the Supreme Court of Ohio – and the first woman appointed to a federal appeals court judgeship.

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow at 614.387.9250.