Thomas Moyer, Long-Serving Ohio Chief Justice, GOP Political Figure, Dead at 70

Started by JT, April 07, 2010, 12:02:42 AM

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This is not technically Ohio death penalty news, and might instead be deserving of its own thread, but it has some relevance which I shall explain below.


Thomas Moyer, Long-Serving Ohio Chief Justice, GOP Political Figure, Dead at 70

Thomas J. Moyer, chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court for 23 years and a revered figure in the state Republican Party, died unexpectedly on Friday. He was 70.

The affable Moyer was third longest-serving chief justice in Ohio history and dean of current state supreme court justices across the country, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Before his election to the state's high court, Moyer served as president of the Columbus School Board during turbulent times in the early 1970s when the city wrestled with school desgregation. He was also executive assistant to the late Gov. James A. Rhodes later that decade. In both of those positions and on the court, Tom Moyer was known as a quiet voice of moderation and a man who worked easily with Republicans and Democrats alike.

A cause of death was not immediatey released. Moyer had hip replacement surgery last year and appeared frail, but few around him suspected he was seriously ill. He presided at an Ohio Supeme Court session Wednesday.


In Ohio, the Supreme Court is tasked with the issuance of death warrants.  The Chief Justice is primarily responsible for attending to death penalty issues and on his motion alone executions can be delayed.  Justice Paul Pfeiffer, in his capacity as the longest serving associate justice, has now assumed the post of acting chief justice in accordance with the Ohio Constitution.  He is also known to be generally opposed to capital punishment, at least as practiced in Ohio, and almost always dissents without comment when the Court sets an execution date.  There have been "whispers" in some corners that Ohio's recent roll in conducting executions, which can in part be attributed to Chief Justice Moyer, might abate somewhat while Justice Pfeiffer is in the big seat.
JT's Ridiculous Quote of the Century:
"I'm disgusted with the State for even putting me in this position."
-- Reginald Blanton, Texas death row.  As of October 27, 2009, Reggie's position has been in a coffin.

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