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Toledo-born Ohio Supreme Court Justice Andy Douglas dies

Douglas also served on Toledo City Council and was re-elected nine times.
Justice Andy Douglas

TOLEDO, Ohio — Justice Andrew "Andy" Douglas, 89, who served three terms on the Ohio Supreme Court, has died. 

Douglas, born in Toledo, served on the state's highest court from 1984-2002 and was the court's 139th justice. 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday opened his news conference with the news of Douglas' death, saying, "He was very proud of the fact that he was from Toledo, and he loved Ohio. Even after he retired from the Ohio Supreme Court, he continued to practice law and served as the Executive Director of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and all of his friends." 

Douglas was born in 1932 to Andrew and Elizabeth Douglas and attended the University of Toledo, earning his law degree in 1959. Douglas also was a veteran, serving in the U.S. Army infantry and signal corps, obtaining the rank of first lieutenant. 

In 1961, at age 29, the Republican became one of the youngest men ever elected to Toledo City Council and was re-elected nine times, serving until 1980. He then was elected to the 6th District Court of Appeals and sat as a trial judge for common pleas courts in several counties. He also taught at the University of Toledo Community and Technical College until 1984. 

Justice Andy Douglas

He defeated Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas Judge John Corrigan in 1984 to become a justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. He was re-elected in 1990 and 1996. He could not run for a fourth term after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2002. He retired on Dec. 31, 2002, joining the law firm of Crabbe, Brown and James in Columbus. 

During his tenure as Ohio Supreme Court justice in the 1990s, Douglas' decisions alongside Justices Paul Pfeifer, Francis Sweeney and Alice Robie Resnick expanded workers' compensation rights, increased insurance company liability and declared Ohio's system of public school funding unconstitutional in the 1996 DeRolph vs. State case. 

Douglas was married to Joan Bowman, who died in 1966 at age 33. They had four children: Cindy, Robert, Andy and David.