CLEVELAND -- Ohio's top judge says it's time to take partisanship out of judicial primaries as a way of reassuring the public that courts are unbiased.
Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor laid out an eight-point plan for strengthening judicial elections, including instituting nonpartisan primaries, at the Ohio State Bar Association's annual meeting Thursday in Cleveland.
Ohio is the only state in the nation that identifies the party of prospective judges in its primaries and then sends winners into a general election in which party labels aren't used.
O'Connor wants to see Ohio join 14 other states where judicial races are strictly nonpartisan.
Her proposal comes at a time when polls show the public views judges as susceptible to political influence, yet most Ohioans oppose doing away with judicial elections altogether.