Judge Marie Hoover puts in the time-the Presiding Judge of the four panel 4thDistrict Court of Appeals presides over a 14 county area that stretches from southwestern Ohio, all the way to the eastern part of the state-an enormous district with a wide-ranging cross-section of cases to hear. She makes the time, because this is her passion. “The legal system has been my passion since I started practicing law. I believe if you have a true passion, follow it, do it. I have been working to help people through my profession-I’ve served as a public defender, a Law Director for Waverly, a magistrate for Portsmouth Municipal Court, as well as having a private law practice for 18 years. I believe and have lived my life that if you want to make positive change, do something about it,” the incumbent candidate stated. Hoover was previously elected to her first, six-year term on the bench in 2012.
Hoover’s approach and philosophy is direct and honorable. “When I was sworn into office, I promised to support the Constitution of the United States and the State of Ohio; I will continue to do this. I believe in the Rule of Law, which is the restriction of the arbitrary use of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws. I believe, too, that if a law is unconstitutional, we have a duty to strike it down in order to do our part in the separation of powers. We cannot blindly allow an unconstitutional law to stand.We must use common sense when making our decisions-it is important to keep an open mind when deciding cases and it is important to try to figure out what is “just” and what is “right” when doing so.”
Despite the large volume of appeals to hear, the strength of her passion drives her to keep moving forward towards the goals she set for this seat six years ago. “I originally ran for this office in the hopes of bringing my view of fairness to the bench. I also wanted to bring diversity to the bench, being the only woman and only minority (Filipino). I was the first woman elected to the bench-there are approximately 635,000 residents-92% of the judges in our district are male, 8% female. 50 5 of the population are women! So, for me, diversity is a factor. I have worked diligently, conscientiously and efficiently during my term. I have earned the respect of my colleagues in being elected as the Presiding and Admininstarative Judge of our court. I would like to continue to have the opportunity to work hard for the people of our district-towards modern technological progression of our court; I would also like to continue my work in our community, speaking with school groups, girl and boy scouts and other organizations that benefit our youth. I want to make it normal for young people to see a woman as a judge and to break the stereotypes that are so often the case in the 4thdistrict. I am just like the people of this area-I grew up in Pike County and have lived in Scioto County for all of my adult life- I love my community and I am dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone in it. This is a beautiful area-not just aesthetically, but the people as well. If you get a chance to meet them and get to know them, they are not just constituents-they are the people I serve.”
It is her vast experiences with the people of the 4thDistrict that Hoover feels has helped her in her journey. “I have sat in every scene in a courtroom. I know what it feels like to be prosecutor, to be a plaintiff’s lawyer, to be a defense attorney and to be a litigant. I know how difficult it can be and how hard it is on their lives. When I make decisions, I try to simply use common sense and determine what will be the best decision for the greatest number of people. When we make decisions in the 4thcourt, we effect 14 counties in southeast Ohio. While we look at the particular set of circumstances and facts in each case, our final decision is going to ultimately effect more than just this person, this family, this group that has come forth-it is going to affect our whole area as well as future generation,” Hoover offered.
It is that vey experience that Hoover believes makes her the best candidate. She expressed that quite clearly when she told The Voice, “I have had to make oral arguments in front of a judge as an attorney, including a number of appeals. My feet have been on the ground. I have handled over 65 appeals in state and federal courts prior to being elected as the judge of the Court of Appeals. I have extensive jury and bench trial experience in criminal and civil cases, as well as worker’s compensation and social security administrative hearings. As a judge, I have written over 315 decisions and have voted on over 600 decisions, writing concurring and dissenting opinions on many of them. We need to keep experience on the court: one of our judges is retiring in 2019 and another judge has been recommended for a federal judgeship. In order to keep stability and experience in this court, it is necessary that I remain on the court. I believe I am especially suited for this position. When I first got on the court, Judge Harcha said, “Our knowledge is a mile long and an inch deep.” We have to take every case, this isn’t like civil law, we have to have a wide breath of knowledge.”
Her Honor is involved in a myriad of charitable causes, while also winning national championships in various martial arts competitions, running in marathons, playing the piano and practicing yoga. She is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, League of Women Voters and The National Wild Turkey Federation. Judge Hoover has also proudly earned the endorsements of Tri-State Building Trade Unions, AFSCME Power in Action, Ohio Association of Public School Employees AFL-CIO Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, AFSCME Local 11, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 575 and the Shawnee Labor Council.
In the end, you can hear the level of experience and integrity come through in Hoover’s closing words. “Bottom line, my judicial philosophy is moderate. I simply believe each case should be heard on its own merit, its own particular set of circumstances. I am not limited to labels of either “conservative” or liberal”. I am a Judge, period.”