For the second election in a row, Disciplinary Counsel of Ohio has been directed to stop attempting to silence Judge William O'Neill in his campaign activities. Judge O'Neill is retired from the 11th District Court of Appeals and is the Democratic nominee for Supreme Court of Ohio on the November ballot.
"Once again a Court has looked at what is happening here, and once again the Court has sided with free speech and my constitutional right to speak out," Judge O'Neill said.
During the 2004 campaign for Supreme Court of Ohio, Disciplinary Counsel Jonathan Coughlin attempted to stop Judge O'Neill from identifying himself as a Democrat. Federal Court later ordered the Supreme Court to cease and desist their attempts to limit his First Amendment rights.
This year Disciplinary Counsel filed a Complaint alleging that William O'Neill could not refer to himself Judge O'Neill. A fifteen Judge panel dismissed the Complaint, finding "...We conclude Canon 4.3(C) as it applies to respondent under the facts in this case is unconstitutional."
"This is deja vu all over again," Judge O'Neill said. "Hopefully this time the Supreme Court will understand that I am going to speak out, I am a Democrat, I am a former Judge, and I will be heard."
Once again Judge O'Neill is refusing to accept campaign contributions, running on the theme that 'Money and Judges Don't Mix'. He won the Democratic primary with 72% of the vote and carried 87 of 88 counties in Ohio.