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ICYMI: GOP Supreme Court Candidate Makes Her Anti-Abortion Views Clear While Breaking Her Own Rules in the Process

For Immediate Release:

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

CONTACT: Matt Keyes, mkeyes@ohiodems.org, 317-460-5788


Columbus, OH – In case you missed it, Marty Schladen of the Ohio Capital Journal today broke news that Republican Supreme Court candidate Meghan Shanahan has been touting her support from anti-abortion groups on social media, indicating how she’d rule on any abortion rights issues that come before the Ohio Supreme Court. While it’s bad enough that Shanahan is touting endorsements from the same anti-abortion groups behind November’s Issue One campaign, she’s also breaking her own rules in the process after she penned an op-ed for the Ironton Tribune writing, “What’s not fine, is having strongly formed opinions about how cases should be decided before they reach your courtroom.”

“In other words, Shanahan boasted of being endorsed by a group that helped lead the fight against an amendment she will have to interpret if she wins a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. Almost certainly, the court will hear cases regarding the constitutionality of abortion restrictions that are already on the books, and conservative lawmakers are proposing additional restrictions despite the 14-point margin by which Ohioans passed the abortion-rights amendment last November. So in Ohio, Shanahan eight years ago boasted of the endorsement of a single-issue group whose cause is sure to come before the Ohio Supreme Court,” writes Schladen. 

“It's clear that abortion rights are once again on the ballot in 2024, and Judge Shanahan has already shown her true colors: rubbing elbows with anti-abortion activists and touting endorsements from the very groups who tried to take away abortion rights last fall. With our fundamental rights at stake, we can't afford someone who has shown so clearly that she will side with anti-abortion groups over Ohioans,” said Matt Keyes, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party. 

Ohio is the only state in the nation with the opportunity to flip the partisan makeup of its state Supreme Court this year. The Court elected in November will likely make decisions on key issues facing our state including, abortion, redistricting and voting rights.

Read more from Ohio Capital Journal HERE and below: 

  • Megan Shanahan, a candidate for Ohio Supreme Court, has publicly slammed a Wisconsin jurist for anti-gerrymandering comments she made as she was running last year for that state’s high court.

  • But Shanahan, a Cincinnati Republican, in the past has touted the endorsement of Ohio’s most prominent anti-abortion group.

  • Once-sleepy state supreme court elections have taken on huge stakes as state’s high courts are becoming the final arbiters in some of the bitterest disputes of the day. 

  • In May, Shanahan, the Ohio candidate, published a column in the Ironton Tribune taking the Wisconsin judge to task over her anti-gerrymandering rhetoric.

  • But that raises questions about what is proper for a judicial candidate to say and how long ago she can have said it. On Shanahan’s account on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, is a tweet from 2016.

  • “So proud to be at the Cincinnati Right to Life’s Evening for Life,” it says, referring to anti-abortion group that helped lead the fight against last year’s abortion-rights amendment.

  • Also in 2016, as a Hamilton County common pleas judge, Shanahan tweeted that she was “Proud to be endorsed by Greater Cincinnati Right to Life PAC and CCV.”

  • In other words, Shanahan boasted of being endorsed by a group that helped lead the fight against an amendment she will have to interpret if she wins a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court.

  • Almost certainly, the court will hear cases regarding the constitutionality of abortion restrictions that are already on the books, and conservative lawmakers are proposing additional restrictions despite the 14-point margin by which Ohioans passed the abortion-rights amendment last November.

  • So in Ohio, Shanahan eight years ago boasted of the endorsement of a single-issue group whose cause is sure to come before the Ohio Supreme Court. Meanwhile in Wisconsin, Protasiewicz last year called that state’s legislative and congressional maps “rigged” as she campaigned for a court that’s just as likely to hear cases regarding that issue.

  • What’s the difference?

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