The Supreme Choice

Rev. Donald L. Perryman, D.Min.

By Rev. Donald L. Perryman, Ph.D.
The Truth Contributor

History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.
Thurgood Marshall

Our state and federal Supreme Court systems have recently been described as “constrictors of Democracy,” a characterization that resonates deeply when we consider contentious issues such as voting rights, reproductive rights, and gerrymandering, among others.

The loss of balanced judicial voices has tilted the scales in a way that no longer reflects the will or the welfare of the majority. Five counties hold 68 percent of Ohio’s population but only possess 35 percent of the voting power in the legislature. This disproportionate representation is a glaring injustice that undermines the principle of equal representation upon which our democracy is built. The math is simple, and the injustice is clear. The upcoming Supreme Court election is our “last stop,” the backstop that ensures the principles of fairness, equality, and democracy are upheld.

Yet, the good news is that the solution is within our grasp.

Although Republicans have held a majority on the seven-seat Ohio Supreme Court since 1986 – nearly four decades, the Democratic Party can shift the 4-3 court majority by defending two incumbents and winning an open seat.

Judge Terri Jamison, thus, emerges as a shining star in this critical race.

Judge Terri Jamison

Jamison’s journey from a coal miner in Welch, West Virginia, to a respected judge on the 10th District Court of Appeals encapsulates the essence of serving with integrity, empathy, and a deep understanding of the legal system’s impact on everyday Ohioans.

Judge Jamison represents the cross-section of average Ohioans in a way few can. Her nontraditional path, marked by hard work and a relentless pursuit of education, mirrors the challenges and aspirations of many in our community. Her experiences as a single parent navigating through law school and as a professional and small business owner breaking barriers in male-dominated fields offer a relatable and inspiring narrative. For women and minorities, her path is a testament to overcoming adversity through resilience and determination.

Her legal career, particularly as a defense attorney and a juvenile judge, underscores the critical perspective she brings to the judiciary. Jamison’s firsthand experience with individuals from diverse socioeconomic positions allows her to apply the law equitably while maintaining compassion and understanding for those in crisis. This unique blend of empathy and legal acumen makes Jamison the right choice for addressing today’s complex issues.

With a background that aligns closely with the lived experiences of most Ohioans, Judge Jamison’s focus on critical issues like reproductive rights, the new marijuana law, redistricting, and the need for a statewide database of criminal sentences speaks to her commitment to transparency, fairness, and equity. Her support for the Ohio Sentencing Data Project accentuates her belief in the public’s right to know and understand how justice is meted out, ensuring accountability and fairness in sentencing.

Yet, it’s not just her professional achievements that make Jamison the supreme choice for the Supreme Court. Jamison’s role as a pastor and her active engagement in community service projects illustrate her holistic approach to leadership, emphasizing the importance of mental, financial, spiritual, and communal health and wellness.

As Ohioans stand at a crossroads, Judge Jamison’s blue-collar background, combined with her legal acumen and dedication to justice, makes her an exemplary candidate. Her understanding of the root causes of the problems affecting urban and underserved areas, coupled with her firsthand experience of overcoming adversity, positions her as a justice who would not only interpret the law but do so with a deep understanding of its impact on everyday lives.

At a time when public trust in our institutions is wavering, Jamison’s candidacy answers the call for a judiciary that not only applies the law impartially but does so with an unwavering commitment to equity and equality. In her words, Jamison’s emphasis on justice means “to treat everyone equally, regardless of background or circumstance, while considering mitigating factors individual to each case.” This perspective reflects a balanced approach to the bench.

Should Judge Jamison secure a position on the high court, she would become the third African American woman to hold a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. Since 1803, the court has seen 163 justices, among whom only four African American and 13 women. Yet, her potential victory in the primary and subsequent general election also ensures that our judiciary mirrors the rich diversity, values, and aspirations of all Ohioans.

Voting for Judge Jamison also champions democracy and safeguards our collective future while sending a collective voice that echoes through the ballot box, signaling our demand to restore balance, fairness, and integrity to our democratic institutions.

Therefore, let us seize this opportunity to shape our state’s future by supporting Judge Terri Jamison – a candidate whose life story, values, and vision for justice offer a path toward a more equitable and just Ohio.

Her experience, empathy, and understanding of the systemic issues facing our communities make her the supreme choice for the Ohio Supreme Court.

Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, PhD, at