September 22, 2014
Justice Kennedy Speaks at Sidney Rotary

Image of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy and Sidney Rotary Club President Ellen Keyes

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy (left) with Sidney Rotary Club President Ellen Keyes.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy addressed members of the Sidney Rotary Club at their meeting held on Monday, September 22, 2014.

During her presentation, which covered the Rotary Four-Way Test and the founding of America, she spoke about the parallels found between the Rotarian code of ethics and the principles that guided America’s founding fathers as they established a new nation and government.

In discussing the fourth test that asks “Is it beneficial to all concerned?” Justice Kennedy said: “The founding fathers conceived this republic in a way that they believed would be beneficial to all concerned. It was beneficial because it secured for all citizens in the Constitution and Bill of Rights the unalienable right to live free of government intrusion, and the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as espoused in the Declaration of Independence.”

Justice Kennedy also took questions from the audience and was asked to share her thoughts on the Supreme Court’s decision in DeRolph v. State of Ohio, a case in which the majority on the court found Ohio’s public school funding system to be unconstitutional.

When asked specifically whether the Supreme Court should find the General Assembly to be in contempt for failing to enact legislation correcting the situation, Justice Kennedy responded in the negative.

“The role of the court in the DeRolph case was to determine whether or not the statute was unconstitutional. Period. After that they no longer have a role in the matter. Clearly the General Assembly noticed the decision and it is their responsibility to schedule committees and rework the statutory framework,” she said.

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.