Welcome, Judge Bickerton

It took her 216 years to get here, but Columbiana County has finally welcomed the first woman to fill the Common Pleas Court bench.

Megan Bickerton of East Liverpool was sworn in last week to replace longtime Judge C. Ashley Pike. A first-time judge, Bickerton had previously served as an assistant Columbiana County prosecutor and as solicitor for the village of Lisbon.

Bickerton defeated Pike in the primary election last year. Pike had served on the bench since being first elected in 2000 and was re-elected without opposition in 2006 and 2012.

Bickerton says one of her main goals as judge will be to establish a specialty docket, specifically a drug court, in the Common Pleas Court.

Although it took us more than 200 years to elect a woman to the Common Pleas Court judgeship, women have served in municipal court positions in our county. Melissa Byers-Emmerling of East Liverpool, who is currently serving as East Liverpool Municipal Court judge, was the first woman elected to a judgeship in the county when she took the bench in 1990.

Seventh District Court of Appeals Judge Carol Ann Robb, served as a judge with the Columbiana County Municipal Court before being elected to the Court of Appeals. In 2015, Robb and two other women became the first all-female three-judge panel on the Court of Appeals to hear arguments.

We welcome Judge Bickerton to the bench and wish her every success in that post.