LIMA — One of two Republican woman running for seats on the Ohio Supreme Court on Friday asked Allen County voters to “vote for Kennedy — a conservative with a liberal-sounding name.”
Sharon Kennedy was the guest speaker Friday at monthly luncheon of the Allen County Republican Party. A resident of Hamilton, she was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in 2012 to fill an unexpired term and was re-elected in 2014, winning 88 counties and capturing 73% of the vote.
She will square off in this year’s election against Democratic challenger and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge John O’Donnell.
Kennedy spoke of the importance of restraint on the part of all members of the judiciary in general and of Supreme Court justices in particular.
“I believe judges should not legislate from the bench but instead should give effect to the words written by lawmakers. Judicial restraint matters,” Kennedy said. “We expect those in black robes not to become legislators.”
America’s Founding Fathers “gave us a republic so that your (voters’) voices matter,” Kennedy said. “The republic will live as long as judges do not legislate from the bench, but they must be stable and predictable.”
Speaking earlier this year at an educational forum in Coshocton County, Kennedy described herself as a conservative who looks at the Constitution the way that it was intended.
“I fundamentally believe in judicial restraint because if I am rewriting the law the way that Sharon Kennedy wants, we have nothing,” the justice noted. “Because I wear a black robe doesn’t give me a third voice. It doesn’t give me the ability just to erase the words that were enacted.”
Kennedy acknowledged that many people don’t bother to vote, even in presidential election years. She urged the party faithful to spread the word in favor of a straight GOP ballot and to do it quickly.
“In about 30 days (on Oct. 6) early voting starts in Ohio. People will be voting from their kitchen tables,” Kennedy said. “I will continue to try to touch the hands of as many people as I can until Nov. 3.”
She asked voters to look at her 34 years of experience in the judicial system — from police officer to common pleas court judge to Supreme Court justice — in making their decision.
“We need disciplined individuals who only do their jobs. The rest is up to you,” Kennedy said.