Speeches

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor
Justice Judith Lanzinger Portrait Dedication
Feb. 6, 2017

Good afternoon. I’m Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. Welcome to the portrait dedication ceremony for Judith Ann Lanzinger, the 150th Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Before we move on in the program, please rise as Monsignor Dennis Metzger leads us in the invocation. Monsignor Metzger…

MONSIGNOR METZGER SPEAKS

Thank you Monsignor Metzger.

Thank you as well to the Lanzinger family for sharing this special day with us and thank you all for coming. I was pleased to be asked to emcee this ceremony and to deliver remarks at this auspicious occasion.

The Supreme Court’s portrait dedication program fulfills an important educational and historical function in charting the Court’s 200-plus-year history by memorializing the individuals who helped make that history.

And history shows that Judy Lanzinger is the only person ever elected to each level of the judiciary: municipal court, common pleas court, district appellate court, and the Ohio Supreme Court.

The Ohio Constitution’s mandatory age restriction for judges prevented Judy from serving on the Supreme Court for more than two terms. Even so, we were fortunate to have her for 12 years, given her many contributions.

She raised awareness about the judicial branch’s inner workings and made our cases understandable to school-age kids through posts on her Justice Judy blog.

She chaired the committee that published the first Supreme Court Writing Manual in 2012, which is used by the Court for its opinions. In fact, Judy was good natured enough to roll with it when we Justices teased her about being the “grammar lady.”

She chaired the Commission on the Rules of Superintendence that created the public access rules to court records that took effect in 2009.

And she earned her “poetic justice” moniker by teaching poetry to her fellow judges at the National Judicial College. What’s that limerick you always like to recite, Judy?

I could go on and on, but Justice Lanzinger’s contributions to the profession do not tell the whole story.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Judy in-depth during our travels across Ohio when we were campaigning in 2010. Spending quality time with a colleague in a car hundreds of miles at a time is a great way to learn about that person’s upbringing and what make them tick.

What makes Judy tick is doing the right thing, the right way, all the time. She cares deeply about you, your well-being, and your family. She’s quick with a kind word and constant as a good listener. I was fortunate to know Judy as a colleague during her time on the Court, but even more fortunate to know her as a friend.

For today’s portrait dedication ceremony, we are delighted to have several speakers that will reflect on Judy’s life.

Our first speaker is University of Toledo College of Law Dean Benjamin Barros, who I’m sure will brag just a bit about the UT alumna we honor today. Dean Barros…

DEAN BARROS SPEAKS

Thank you Dean Barros.

Next we have Toledo Municipal Court Presiding Judge Joshua Lanzinger, who may share a thing or two about what he learned about judging from his mom. Judge Lanzinger…

JUDGE LANZINGER SPEAKS

Thank you Judge Lanzinger.

Next we have Mara Lanzinger Spidel, who will provide some background about portrait artist Jeffrey Klopping.

MARA SPEAKS

PORTRAIT PRESENTATION/ACCEPTANCE

Thank you Mara, and thank you Jeffrey for your exquisite work.

Now we ask the Lanzinger family to step forward to officially present the portrait to the Court.

I’m pleased to accept this portrait on behalf of the Supreme Court of Ohio. As visitors learn about Justice Lanzinger they will also learn a little more about the history of the Supreme Court as they walk these halls of justice. Thank you.

Now I invite Justice Lanzinger to say a few remarks. Justice Lanzinger…

JUSTICE LANZINGER SPEAKS

Now, please rise as Monsignor Michael Billian delivers the benediction.

MONSIGNOR BILLIAN SPEAKS

Thank you Monsignor Billian.

That concludes our program.

Thank you all for coming. On behalf of the Lanzinger family, please stay and enjoy the reception in the Grand Concourse.

Marshal, please adjourn Court.

MARSHAL ADJOURNS COURT