Inside the Deliberation Room

Ohio Supreme Court justices confer and vote on cases in the deliberation room at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center. Justices Robert R. Cupp, Terrence O'Donnell and Paul E. Pfeifer serve on the seven-member court with four women, only the third female majority in the court's history since 1803.
Justice Paul E. Pfeifer, the senior justice on the Ohio Supreme Court, discusses a case in the deliberation room. Justice Pfeifer was first elected to the court in 1992 and is serving his fourth six-year term.
Justices Robert R. Cupp and Paul E. Pfeifer discuss a point around the conference table in the deliberation room while Justice Terrence O'Donnell takes some notes. Justice Cupp is serving his first six-year term on the court after his election in 2006.
Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton began her legal career as a trial lawyer in the courtrooms of Central Ohio. In 1989, she was the first woman to be elected Judge of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, where she became known as "The Velvet Hammer" for her approach to sentencing in serious felony cases.
In January 2011, Justice Yvette McGee Brown became the first African-American woman to serve on the court in its history dating to 1803.
Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger smiles as she listens to one of her colleagues during discussions of the cases just heard by the Ohio Supreme Court. Now serving her second six-year term on the Ohio Supreme Court, Justice Lanzinger is the only person ever elected to every level of Ohio's judiciary.
Chief Justice O'Connor makes a point as Justice Pfeifer listens.
A leather bottle plays a major role in which Ohio Supreme Court justice writes an opinion. The senior justice on the Ohio Supreme Court shakes the bottle and pours out a ball with a number that corresponds to a justice who voted with the majority. That justice is assigned to write the opinion. As the senior justice, Paul E. Pfeifer places the balls in the leather bottle.
Justice Paul E. Pfeifer dispenses a ball in the hand of Justice Terrence O'Donnell to designate which justice will write an opinion on a case. Justice O'Donnell began his service on the court in 2003 and was elected in 2004 and 2006.
The Justices of the Supreme Court of Ohio (from left) Justice Robert R. Cupp, Justice Terrence O'Donnell, Justice Paul E. Pfeifer, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, Justice Yvette McGee Brown.