U.S. District Court

On most Sundays, this space is devoted to partisan politics.

Not this Sunday. This Sunday it is time to step back and look at the long career of a man who transcended politics – Senior Judge S. Arthur Spiegel of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio. 

He passed away this past week at the age of 94. And, when word came out of his passing, there was a profound sense of loss among his friends, his fellow judges, and the many lawyers who appeared before him over the past 34 years – Democrat and Republican alike.

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Judge S. Arthur Spiegel, one of the longest serving federal judges in Cincinnati history, has died at the age of 94.

Spiegel, a Marine Corps veteran of World War II, was appointed to the U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter. In 1995, Spiegel took senior status, but continued to hear cases.

Several years ago, Spiegel published a memoir of his life called “A Trial on the Merits.” In it, he wrote of his legal career, but also of his time as a Marine, when he flew a single-engine plane into combat.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett will take over a Planned Parenthood lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Health after Judge Timothy Black removed himself from the case.

Black, an appointee of President Obama, was director of Planned Parenthood of Cincinnati from 1986 to 1989; and served as its president in 1988.

Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati objected to Black hearing the case, saying Black’s past involvement with Planned Parenthood was a conflict of interest.

A federal magistrate ruled this morning that Cincinnati's responsible bidder ordinance is invalid and that Hamilton County makes the rules for the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD).

The county owns the sewer system, but the city operates it.

The city and the county have been fighting for more than two years over the responsible bidder ordinance, which would force MSD contractors to have apprentice programs and pay into a pre-apprenticeship fund. Unions favor the ordinance, because many of them have apprentice programs.