April 01, 2014 Waymaker

Chief Justice Moyer: A Judge for All Seasons and All the Right Reasons

By Judge Stephanie Domitrovich and Judge Milton Nuzum

Why are we judges? . . . If we push ourselves beyond our daily tasks we will realize it is because the law touches us. It excites us. It is because law reminds us that we follow in the footsteps of the masters—the greats such as Locke, Montesquieu, and Jefferson. We are judges because the law brings order from chaos. Like brush strokes on canvas, law brings form to cloudy images of the mind. We are judges because of the beauty of the law.

—Chief Justice Moyer, Annual State of the Judicial Address for Ohio, Sept. 11, 2008

Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer pushed himself beyond his daily tasks as a judge and justice to demonstrate his passion for the law. He not only talked the talk, he walked the walk. He was a visionary and achieved so much not only for his own Ohio constituents but also for others nationally and internationally during his career.

As true a Buckeye as any other, Chief Justice Moyer was born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio. He received his bachelor of arts and Juris Doctorate degrees from The Ohio State University, entering the practice of law in 1964. Prior to his service on the Supreme Court of Ohio, he served for eight years as a judge of the Tenth District Court of Appeals in Franklin County following his service as an executive assistant to Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes. His long and distinguished career as a public servant began in 1970 as a member of the Columbus School Board, where he served until 1975, including two years as board president. He was elected chief justice in 1987 and served in that office until his death in 2010, making him the longest-serving chief justice of a state court in the United States at that time and the second-longest-serving chief justice in Ohio’s history.

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