COLUMBUS — "The sole member of the current bench who has not received money from FirstEnergy PAC is Democratic Justice Michael Donnelly, elected in 2018.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor received $6,000 from the PAC in 2010; Justice Fischer received $13,400 in 2016; Justice Judith French, $6,700 in 2014; and Justice Sharon Kennedy, a total of $13,000 in 2012 and 2014. Justice Patrick DeWine received $2,700 for a prior lower court campaign in 2012.
All are Republicans.
The Supreme Court’s rules of practice allow for a party in a case to request that a particular justice recuse himself or herself from the case, but it is the justice’s decision whether to do so. Campaign contributions are not mentioned as potential disqualifier.
'Justices have no obligation to state a reason for a recusal, but are free to do so, since it is solely their decision whether to recuse or state a reason,' said Supreme Court spokesman Edward Miller."
— Jim Provance, The Toledo Blade