WCPO has independently confirmed that Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters is being considered for a soon-to-be-vacant spot on Ohio’s Supreme Court.
Normally, the Supreme Court position is an elected seat, but the vacant spot comes after Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor retires on Dec. 31 and Justice Sharon Kennedy moves up to lead the court in January. Due to the vacancy, Gov. Mike DeWine will appoint Kennedy’s replacement.
DeWine has said that he plans to announce his decision prior to the end of the year.
Deters is currently serving as Hamilton County’s prosecutor and has been in the position since 2005. Prior to that, he served as state treasurer from 1999 to 2004.
A Cincinnati native, Deters went to St. Xavier High School and the University of Cincinnati for both undergrad and his law degree.
Recently, Deters was a big proponent of putting Issue 1 before voters in the November midterm election, which passed. The amendment requires judges to consider public safety, the seriousness of the crime and criminal history when setting bail amounts.
The state’s seven-member supreme court is currently controlled by a majority of Ohio Republicans, with four Republications and three Democrats. The court has held a red majority for decades.
In the November election, Republicans took all three open seats on the ballot. The Supreme Court race was considered one of the most important due to the court’s ongoing fight with the Ohio Redistricting Commission.
If chosen, Deters will be serving a six-year term as a state justice.