Ohio justice won’t recuse herself in abortion clinic case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A justice challenged for appearing before an anti-abortion group after Ohio’s Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal involving an abortion clinic has declined to recuse herself from the case.

Justice Sharon Kennedy said in a filing Monday she reviewed a request by Capital Care Network of Toledo to step aside from their case over whether the clinic should close and found the request “without merit.”

A lawyer for the clinic sought the recusal.

Attorney Jennifer Branch said the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct requires justices to disqualify themselves any time their impartiality “might be reasonably questioned.”

At issue was Kennedy’s decision to speak to the Greater Toledo Right to Life in March. The group said the breakfast “legislative briefing” didn’t mention abortion.

An ethics complaint against Kennedy was dismissed.