March 10, 2017
Justice Kennedy Speaks at West Jefferson Community Association

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy spoke about Ohio’s judicial system to members of the West Jefferson Community Association in Madison County, Ohio, on March 10, 2017.

Kennedy discussed the structure of the federal and state governments, saying that the representative government created therein was the one thing everyone in the room would always have in common.

“While it may seem difficult—perhaps even impossible at times—you affect government by your vote [and] by who you choose to be your representative. By picking up the phone and calling your legislator,” Kennedy said.

She also spoke about judicial impartiality and ruling on the law as written.

“As a member of the judiciary I must be committed to restraining my power,” she said. “Some believe that because I wear a robe, I have an extra voice, but I do not.”

She referenced President Reagan’s remarks during the investiture ceremony of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia: “We must have a judiciary that is independent and strong, but one confined within the written constitution and laws.”

Justice Kennedy is serving her second term on the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, she served on the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division from 1999 to 2012. She served as the administrative judge there from 2005 until December 2012. Justice Kennedy began her career in the justice system as a police officer in Hamilton, Ohio. She received her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

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