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Thomas J. Moyer (born April 18, 1939) is an American jurist.

He has been chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court since 1987. Moyer is a Republican.

Pre-Supreme Court

Thomas J. Moyer is the longest-serving current state chief justice in the United States. Moyer was born in Sandusky, Ohio. He attended Sandusky High School and went on to receive both his undergraduate and law degree from The Ohio State University. He served as chairman of the board of directors of the O.S.U. Alumni Association, as well as the board of directors of Franklin University.

From 1979 to 1987, Moyer served on the Tenth District Court of Appeals for Ohio, which covers Franklin County. Prior to his appointment, he served as the president of the Columbus Board of Education. During his tenure there, the board found itself in the middle of desegregation fights, chronicled in the book Getting Around Brown. He also served for four years as an executive assistant to Governor James A. Rhodes (R-Ohio) and eight years in private practice in Sandusky, Ohio.

Moyer is married and lives in Columbus, with a summer home on Catawba Island.

He was re-elected in 1992, 1998 and 2004.

On the Court

Moyer has presided over matters of great importance on the Supreme Court, including the DeRolph decision dealing with school funding and the late-nineties fight over tort reform.

Although he is a Republican, Moyer is viewed now as frequently aiding decisions made when the court was controlled by Democrats because of his strong belief in the principles of stare decisis. In 2001, he created a task force on guardians ad litem in Ohio, although it never seems to have gone anywhere.

In 2004, the court moved into a new, and substantially grander, quarters. Some controversy ensued over the cost. On May 15, 2004, it was dedicated by U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The court now posts their oral arguments online through RealPlayer.

Under Moyer's leadership, the court:

  • Started the Off-Site Court program after taking office in 1987. The Court visits two local counties per year, and educates high school students about the judiciary. The Court has visited 50 counties offering a chance to view proceedings to 28,000 Ohioans, 22,000 of them high school students.
  • In 1989, revamped the statistical case reporting system for judges in the Rules of Superintendence (Sup.R. 37 Appendix A) to increase the accuracy and efficiency of reporting. Created a separate statistical case reporting section at the Court.
  • In 2002, revamped the rules governing the reporting of opinions in Ohio (Rules for the Reporting of Opinions: to standardize the publication of opinions from the Supreme Court and the courts of appeals to increase public access and availability written opinions.
  • In March 2004, began broadcasting live all Supreme Court Oral Arguments on cable TV and on the Internet ( The cable signal reaches more than 5 million homes across Ohio (signal availability is at Ohio is one of only a small handful of Courts in the United States that broadcast all arguments live. All cases are also archived on the Internet.
  • In 2006, began closed-captioning all oral arguments to facilitate access by deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens and enable public access to unofficial transcripts of all proceedings in a searchable database. Ohio is one of only two state courts in the country with this service.

External links

Preceded by
Frank Celebrezze
Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
Succeeded by


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