Both were appointed by Democrats. Judge Cosme was named to the
court on October 30, 2009 by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland
and was sworn into office on December 3, 2009.
Justice Sotomayor was appointed by President Barack Obama.
Both are of Puerto Rican descent.
But that’s where the similarities end. Justices of the U.S.
Supreme Court have to undergo
a vigorous and often partisan confirmation process in the U.S.
Senate, but do not have to seek re-election to the court, having
received a lifetime appointment to the bench.
Judge Cosme, however, is seeking election November 2, 2010, as the
Democratic Party candidate for a full term on the Court of
She has conducted a campaign that stands out from the name-calling
and vitriolic attacks of other candidates this year by refusing
to conduct or condone personal attacks on her opponent,
Republican candidate, Judge Steve Yarbrough of Sylvania.
It is that same refreshing attitude to her responsibilities on the
bench that have won her the respect of some of her judicial
Judge Cosme was 17 years old when she came to the mainland from her
native Puerto Rico. She enrolled in Boston University shortly
before her 18th birthday, where, as she recalled for
an interviewer, her first and greatest challenge was to learn
“Once I overcame that barrier, the rest was easy and enjoyable,”
She graduated in 1990 with a double major in Political Science
“I always wanted to be a lawyer,’ recalled Cosme, “But I was not
prepared for the rigor and challenge of law school. I was a
first generation Latina and the first in my family to go to
“Cosme chose Cleveland-Marshall Law School. She said
that “despite my two undergrad majors, I was not prepared for
law school—for the way lawyers think and write. For me, it was
like learning a third language.
“In law school she began to date fellow classmate Joseph M.
D’Angelo, whom she married in 1994, the year of her graduation.
They live in Toledo and have two sons: Roberto and Diego.
Following her graduation, Judge Cosme practiced law at Calfee,
Halter & Griswold and later founded her own firm: the Law
Offices of Keila Cosme. In 2001, she and her husband formed the
Toledo firm of Cosme, D’Angelo & Szollosi, where she
focused primarily on commercial and civil litigation.
Judge Cosme serves as a member of the Ohio Association for
Justice and the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Ohio
Hispanic Bar Association. She also serves as a member of the
AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee.
Judge Cosme told La Prensa that her interest is
“preserving the integrity of the court by being fair and giving
everyone a fair shake. If you treat everyone fairly and
equally, the laws will be upheld as they should be and the
Constitution is protected.”
While most judicial campaigns generate relatively little
excitement from voters, Judge Cosme believes that her cadre of
campaign volunteers have transcended the barrier and made the
race “very exciting” for voters.
“It is really bringing in people at the grassroots movement,”
said Judge Cosme. “I am not a career politician; I have never
been in a political race before. I answered a call to public
service leaving a comfort zone in my private life to make a
contribution and a difference.”
But that has changed as Judge Cosme finds herself campaigning in
the eight counties that comprise the Ohio Sixth District Court
of Appeals. [The Sixth Appellate District in the State of Ohio
services eight counties, including Erie, Fulton, Huron, Lucas,
Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams, and Wood. Its primary location is
in Toledo, located in Lucas County.]
She has taken advantage of this opportunity to educate voters
about the judicial system and the differences between judges
elected to serve on Common Pleas Courts and those on the
appellate branch or the state supreme court.
“The Court of Appeals is very different. Because it is a court
of record, it is more analytical. A judge has to research the
law and how it applies to the facts of the case. It is very much
an educational process.
“The greatest challenge is for a judge to remove their personal
bias and take themselves out of the equation. Integrity and
fairness is vital. A judge can not pass judgment before fully
reviewing the case. It is always human nature to have an
opinion, which makes this even more of a responsibility,” said
“If there is a conflict, a judge has to recuse themselves. The
Court of Appeals is an important court because it is often the
court of last resort. The Supreme Court can make a decision on
whether to hear a case or not, and only a relatively small
portion are heard.
“I have made a personal commitment to continue to serve the
residents of these eight counties and I understand the weight
and responsibility my job carries. I am fully committed to the
principles of fairness and to shape the society that my children
will grow up in and in shaping the future of our community,”
said Judge Cosme.
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