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History of Reform Efforts: Ohio

Formal Changes Since Inception

1802
Judges of all courts elected by both houses of the general assembly to seven-year terms.

1851
Circuit court judges elected by the people to terms of an even number of years not less than six years, as prescribed by the general assembly. Court of common pleas judges elected by the people to six-year terms.

1883
Supreme court judges chosen for not less than five years, as prescribed by the general assembly.

1892
Terms of supreme court judges fixed by statute at six years.

1912
Terms for supreme court judges "fixed by law, which shall not be less than six years." Court of appeals (formerly circuit court) judges elected by voters to terms prescribed by law of not less than six years.

1913
Terms of court of appeals judges fixed by statute at six years.

1968
Modern Courts Amendment to the judicial article approved by voters, including a provision that no person shall hold judicial office if they turn 70 on or before taking office. In 1989, the constitutionality of age restrictions for judges was challenged in federal court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the restrictions in Zielasko v. Ohio, 873 F.2d 957 (1989).

1850
Supreme Court justices elected.