In a gun control case, United States v. Chesney, she argued a view in a concurrence that she admitted "no judicial opinion or academic commentary" has employed. In that case, she supported invalidating part of the Gun Control Act (which makes it a federal offense for a felon to be in possession of a firearm), which 10 circuit courts of appeal have held constitutional.
Democratic critics told ABC News that Batchelder was more conservative than Chief Justice William Rehnquist on the Family and Medical Leave Act. In Sims v. University of Cincinnati, she wrote an opinion that held the Family and Medical Leave Act was not a valid exercise of Congress' power under the Fourteenth Amendment because the act "discloses no pattern of discrimination by the states, let alone a pattern of constitutional violations." Democratic sources said the Supreme Court rejected her broad arguments in Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, in a 6-3 ruling joined by both Rehnquist and O'Connor.
Batchelder wrote a majority opinion in a separation of powers case that National Review called "landmark" and hailed as "striking down congressional legislation usurping judicial power." The opinion held that a 1991 act mandating district courts to reinstate securities fraud claims that had been dismissed was an unconstitutional usurpation of judicial power and prohibited by the separation of powers provision of the Constitution. The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling in 1995.
In a 2004 case, Judge James DeWeese had a poster of the Ten Commandments displayed in his courtroom. A federal judge ordered the poster removed. The appeals panel upheld the ruling, but Batchelder dissented, writing that the lower court's decision to remove the small poster of the Ten Commandments from De Weese's courthouse was an "absurdity" considering the lower judge sat in a courthouse with a mural containing the commandments. She also added that the poster was a "small, unobtrusive copy ... as part of a series of documents and depictions that he uses for the express purpose of educating community groups in the history and philosophy of the law. It is not unconstitutional to make observations of historical fact."
In a 2001 racial discrimination case, Logan v. Denny's Inc., Batchelder dissented from the majority opinion, which reversed a summary judgment granted by the district court and held that Logan, a former Denny's employee, established a claim of racial discrimination under the Civil Rights Act. Batchelder's dissent rejected the majority's conclusion that remarks made to Logan such as "we don't serve grits here" and derogatory references to "your people" carried an "inference of invidious discrimination."
While Batchelder was in school, she met her husband, William Batchelder III, a leading Ohio conservative and a state appeals court judge before he resigned at the end of September. It has been reported that he intends to run for the Ohio House.
William Batchelder served 32 years on the Ohio state general assembly until the end of 1998, and a friend told ABC News his friendships there crossed party lines. He worked as a teenager on the campaign of Barry Goldwater and was a protégé of Sen. John Ashbrook, who considered a run against President Nixon because he found him too liberal. Batchelder is credited by political friends and media reports with straightening savings and loans in Ohio.
William Batchelder was co-sponsor of the Ohio Civil Rights Initiative, a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would ban race- and gender-based preference laws in state and local government. He proposed to eliminate all programs in Ohio that give preferences to women or minorities in granting college scholarships or admissions, government contracts and government jobs.
His wife, however, has not taken an active role in his politics, though a friend told ABC News that they are "two peas in the same pod" and "they always appear in sync on everything."
The couple has two grown children, William Batchelder IV and Elizabeth Batchelder.