COLUMBUS -- A 13-member review panel has reversed a disciplinary order preventing Ohio Supreme Court candidate William O'Neill from identifying himself as a judge.
The commission ruled Tuesday that a canon of Ohio's Judicial Code of Conduct restricting how former titles are referenced in campaign materials is unconstitutional when applied to O'Neill's case.
O'Neill is retired from the 11th District Court of Appeals.
In campaign literature, he calls himself "Judge O'Neill."
O'Neill called the ruling a victory for free speech. The state guideline says judicial candidates shouldn't imply they currently hold a former position.
O'Neill is challenging Justice Robert Cupp, whose current six-year term ends in January.
In 2004, O'Neill faced a similar disciplinary complaint for identifying himself as a Democrat in a nonpartisan Supreme Court contest.
His statements were ultimately allowed.
The Associated Press