Ohio: Senate approves resolution directing Ohio Supreme Court justice show cause before the legislature why he should not be removed from office

A plan to remove-by-address Ohio Supreme Court William O’Neill was filed earlier this week (news reports here and here) approved by the Senate 25-8 yesterday.

HCR 17 and SCR 20 as filed invoke the legislature’s power to remove from office a judge if 2/3rds of the House and Senate agree (Art. IV, Sec. 17).

Judges may be removed from office, by concurrent resolution of both houses of the general assembly, if two-thirds of the members, elected to each house, concur therein; but, no such removal shall be made, except upon complaint, the substance of which shall be entered on the journal, nor, until the party charged shall have had notice thereof, and an opportunity to be heard.

This is a separate from the power to impeach found elsewhere in the state constitution (Art. II, Sec. 23)

HCR 17/SCR 20 claim O’Neill has violated the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct by running for governor and announcing positions on a host of policy issues but declining to resign from the Supreme Court.

Justice O’Neill has responded that he will resign from the court on Jan. 26 and he looks forward to delivering lawmakers “a Douglas MacArthur-level farewell address.”