August 5, 2014
Justice Kennedy Speaks at Hocking County Senior Center

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy posting with a group of senior citizens at the Scenic Hills Senior Center

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Kennedy (center) discussed the branches of government during an appearance at the Scenic Hills Senior Center in Hocking County.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy spoke at the Scenic Hills Senior Center in Hocking County on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

Justice Kennedy’s interactive presentation titled “The Ohio Judicial System and You” covered the three branches of government, the judicial system in Ohio, and the responsibilities of the Ohio Supreme Court.

“To understand the judicial system, one must begin with an understanding of the three branches of government and how they work in concert,” Justice Kennedy said. “We, as citizens of Ohio, control the creation of law through our representative voice,” she explained. “Once our voice is heard and the law is created it is the obligation of the executive branch to give the law effect and enforcement.”

She went on to discuss the constitutional balance of government and how critical it is for herself and others in the judicial branch to respect the people’s legislative voice by interpreting the laws rather than rewriting them or legislating from the bench.

“If the judicial branch usurps the authority of the legislative branch, it is as if the people’s voice was never heard,” she said.

Justice Kennedy also took questions from those in attendance. Topics she addressed included the scope of federal court jurisdiction, the historical background and constitutional right in Ohio to vote for judges, and the importance of educating voters.

Justice Kennedy is serving her first term on the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy served on the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division from 1999 to 2012. Justice Kennedy 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.

For a high-resolution, print-quality photo of Justice Kennedy, visit: http://www.sc.ohio.gov/PIO/news/images/justices/kennedy_highres.zip.