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 2, 2012
Supreme Court Opens Doors to the Deliberation Room for Law Day

The Supreme Court of Ohio today offered a rare glimpse behind the usually closed doors of the Deliberation Room, the large conference room in the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center where the justices meet after every oral argument to discuss and decide the day’s cases in private before the opinions are later released publically.

Timed to coincide with the state’s celebration of Law Day (celebrated nationally on May 1), the court released a photo slide show taken in a recent deliberation, something that’s never been done before.

“Law day is a time to reflect on the importance of the rule of law in civil society,” said Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. “We hope that by shining a light on our work, we generate interest in the court and confidence in our judicial system.”

The slide show shows the justices in discussions and even depicts the unique way they decide at random who among the majority in a case will be tasked with writing the opinion of the court.

In a practice dating back for decades, the senior associate justice (Justice Paul E. Pfeifer) shakes a leather bottle containing marbles representing each of the justices in the majority for that case. He then pours one marble into the hand of the justice seated to his immediate right (Justice Terrence O’Donnell) to determine who will write the opinion.

“We once had a video that depicted this process, perhaps a little clumsily,” Chief Justice O’Connor said. “Some of the younger kids thought this was how we decide the outcome  of the decision. I can assure you, this is not the case.”

Learn more about Law Day.