Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine arrived at the highest court in the state with broad governmental experience.
By the time he became the 158th justice of the court earlier this year, he already had served as a member of the Cincinnati City Council and a commissioner on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.
It’s the justice’s belief that this exposure to regional government gives him a unique perspective and familiarity with the concerns of local communities. DeWine — the son of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine — championed spending reductions, limiting the tax burden of his constituents and eliminating regulations that impede growth and development.
Additionally, he led efforts to pass amendments to Cincinnati’s city charter, allowing for the direct election of the mayor and making it easier for city government to hire the best-qualified individuals.
The University of Michigan Law School alumnus graduated in the top 10 percent of his class with cum laude and order of the coif honors. He previously studied at Miami University, where he double majored in history and diplomacy and foreign affairs. DeWine graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, received summa cum laude honors, and competed as a member of the varsity track and cross country teams.
He began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge David Nelson on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The justice practiced law for 13 years at Keating, Muething & Klekamp PLL, alongside now-fellow Justice Patrick Fischer. DeWine specialized in mass tort bankruptcy, appellate advocacy, and complex litigation matters.
At the conclusion of his term as county commissioner, DeWine served as a Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas judge beginning in 2009. Subsequently, he successfully ran for a seat on the First District Court of Appeals, where he served out his term ending late last year.
His experience as a judge demonstrated a thoroughness to his legal opinions, which reflect DeWine’s belief in judicial restraint and respect for the constitutional roles of the other coequal branches of government.
Additionally, he was known for treating litigants fairly and ensuring that criminal defendants received appropriate sentences.
DeWine, an avid marathoner, lives with his wife Rhonda in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Cincinnati. They are the parents of five children.
His current term as justice ends Jan. 1, 2023.
A biography published by the Ohio Supreme Court was used to supplement this story.