Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French spoke to Gilmour students on October 4, 2018. Mr. Matthew Lindley, Social Studies Department Chair, planned her visit to allow students to ponder different careers in law and politics.
From arguing cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to serving as an appellate judge and now a justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Justice French was able to give students a better understanding about the court system.
She discussed the process for cases to make to the court, how they are decided, and the challenges justices have in ruling controversial and emotional cases.
Justice French grew up in Sebring, Ohio, a small town in Mahoning County. In the early stages of her career, Justice French worked for Attorney General Betty Montgomery as an assistant attorney general, and later as chief counsel.
Gwen Mascha (’21) said, “In Justice French’s speech, she went in to great detail about how the judges vote on cases and how they write the dissent for each appeal. She also talked about her background as an environmental lawyer and how she had two of her cases go to the supreme court, which is a great accomplishment.”
One of the cases French argued before the United States Supreme Court was the Cleveland School Vouchers case. Serving as lead counsel, Justice French’s successful presentation of the state’s position helped ensure equal educational opportunities for every Ohio student.
Gwen Mascha plans on having a career in law and politics. She said, “An interesting thing that I learned from her speech is that she has encountered multiple cases she could not be part of. She mentioned that one law suit was against her own insurance company, and since her husband is a lower court judge, she had to step out of the cases that include him.”
Images for this article were obtained in accordance with “Fair Use” from https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov.