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Sharon Kennedy (Republican)

Running for
ResidenceColumbus, OH
EducationNorthwest Senior High School 1980 University of Cincinnati, School of Social Work 1984 University of Cincinnati, College of Law 1991
Employer1999 - Present - Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division
1999 - 2004 - Judge
1999 - Present - Administrative Judge
Family in office?None
Reasons for runningAs the court of last resort, the Ohio Supreme Court provides the definitive statement of law in Ohio. Recognizing this final authority, decisions must provide legal clarity, consistency, and reliability.

I am running for Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court because my background and 27 years of service in the justice system support this vision of the law. As a former police officer I served the citizens of Hamilton by upholding the law, as written, through enforcement. As a trial judge I serve the citizens of Butler County by upholding the law, as written, through application of the law to the facts and evidence without regard to personal feelings or opinions.

As the next Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court I will continue my service dedicated to upholding the law and not rewriting the law or legislating from the bench.
PrioritiesUnlike other elected officials, a Justice has one role as defined in the Constitution to uphold the law. As the next Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court I will serve Ohio honoring my limited role in government by upholding the law, not rewriting it or legislating from the bench.

In furtherance of the administration of justice, I would serve to advance civic educational opportunities discussing the Constitution, the importance of the rule of law and the limited role of judges in our system of government. Additionally, I would serve in the development and maintenance of specialized dockets.
QualificationsThere are three primary qualifications of a judge. Knowledge of the law and reasoning ability, ability to make a decision without regard to personal feelings or opinions, and knowledge of and adherence to judicial restraint. As a result of my education and 27 years of service in the justice system, I possess all of those qualifications.

Beginning my career as a police office I was called upon to know and apply the constitutional limits of authority and the criminal and motor vehicle laws of the State of Ohio and City of Hamilton on a daily basis. As a police officer I was required to take control of crisis situations with authority and respect, while assessing and analyzing the law within the context of the situation and make a legal determination of wrongdoing and effect an arrest or issue a citation.

As a law clerk in the trial court of the Court of Common Pleas, General Division I was called upon to review opposing legal memorandums, conduct independent research, and then write a definitive statement of Ohio law.

Serving the needs of families in private practice I listened to my clients to understand their legal issues, conducted research on the applicable law and tried cases in the criminal courts, and the probate, juvenile, and domestic relations divisions of the court of common pleas. Additionally, I conducted research and wrote appellate briefs and argued case before the Twelfth District Court of Appeals.

For the past 14 years I have served as a trial judge in the Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. Every day I am called upon the apply the facts and evidence presented to the law, as written, without regard to personal feelings or opinions.

As the next Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court I will put my 27 years of experience to work for all Ohioans, while honoring the Constitution and upholding the law, not creating it or legislating from the bench.
Positions on the issuesThere are three relevant issues facing the judicial system. Those issues are access to the courts and maintaining the independence of the judiciary during times of financial crisis, improving public confidence in the judicial system, and judicial adherence to Constitutional limitations of power.

In times of financial hardship all branches of government, including the judiciary, should find meaningful ways to reduce the cost of government without limiting access to the courts or eroding the independence of the judiciary. I would support and work with courts to establish budget workgroups to discuss the current financial challenges, assist in the analysis of suggestions, and work to immediately implement budget reduction measures while ensuring access to courts and an independent judiciary.

Often, there are myths and misconceptions about the judicial system. These myths and misconceptions cause a lack of confidence in the judicial system. I would improve and increase civic education and promote decision-making transparency to dispel myths and correct misconceptions about the judicial system.

Under our form of limited government there are three separate, but equal branches of government. Judges must recognize the Constitutional scope and limitation of their authority and apply the law, as written, to the facts and evidence without regard to personal views or opinions. As a Justice I would continue my current work as an educator and mentor of new judges with an emphasis on the limitation of our authority and the need to uphold the law to promote a stable and predictable legal system.

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