Gov. John R. Kasich appointed Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Judith L. French to the Ohio Supreme Court on December 20. Her appointment becomes effective on January 1, 2013.
"As the newest justice I plan to continue to serve the standard I set for myself really as an appeals court judge, and that is to rule justly and fairly, to interpret Ohio law strictly, to always remember that my role as a judge is limited and to serve all of Ohio and to give it my very best," Judge French said.
Judge French will fill the vacancy of Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton who announced in May that she will retire at the end of the year.
Gov. Kasich said he set politics aside and picked the most qualified candidate. He praised Judge French for her common sense, high integrity, and great character.
"It was also important that we picked somebody who in many ways would kind of be in the same mold as Judge Stratton, who's done a fantastic job over there," Gov. Kasich said. "She's going to be a great judge and a great addition, and I also think she'll be a strong candidate when the time comes for her to run. She's got a lot of fire in her and I'm just very excited to do this."
Judge French was appointed to the appeals court, which serves Franklin County, in 2004 and won election to a full six-year term later that year. She was re-elected to the seat in 2010. Judge French will need to run in the November 2014 general election if she wishes to serve a full six-year term.
Before taking the appellate bench, Judge French served as chief legal counsel to Governor Bob Taft, chief counsel and assistant Attorney General in the Office of Attorney General Betty D. Montgomery, deputy director for Legal Affairs in the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and in private practice. French earned her bachelor's, master's, and law degrees from The Ohio State University.