Governor John Kasich today appointed Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Judith L. French to the Supreme Court of Ohio. Her appointment becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2013.
French will fill the vacancy to be left by Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton who announced in May her intention to retire by the end of 2012. Justice Stratton’s term, to which she was elected in 2008, ends Jan. 1, 2015. French can run in the November 2014 general election if she wishes to serve a full six-year term.
“While our state will miss Justice Stratton, Ohioans can be confident Judge French has the diverse experience and strong legal mind required to serve on Ohio’s highest court,” Gov. Kasich said. “Judge French has demonstrated her dedication to preserving the rule of law, to Ohio and its constitution, and I’m proud to appoint her to the Supreme Court.”
French was appointed to the appeals court in 2004 and won election to a full six-year term later that year. She was re-elected to the seat in 2010. The appeals court serves Franklin County and hears cases from county, municipal and common pleas courts as well as original actions in habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, procedendo and quo warranto. The Tenth District also hears administrative appeals from state agencies and from the Court of Claims of Ohio.
Before taking the appellate bench, 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.
She is a member of the Constitutional Modernization Commission and serves on The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law National Council, the Ohio Women’s Bar Association, and has been a mentor in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. Judge French is also a board member of Amethyst, Inc., a center for long-term addiction treatment with safe housing for women and their children.
French earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and law degrees from OSU.