January 18, 2013
Justice Sharon L. Kennedy Delivers Remarks on New Beginnings to the Federalist Society of Cincinnati

Image of Justice Sharon L. Kennedy addressing members of the Federalist Society of Cincinnati.

Justice Sharon L. Kennedy addresses members of the Federalist Society of Cincinnati.

Justice Sharon L. Kennedy spoke about new beginnings to members of the Federalists Society of Cincinnati on January 18. She specifically talked about what it was like switching from the trial court to the Ohio Supreme Court.

“I had mixed emotions about leaving the trial bench,” Justice Kennedy said. “The trial bench had been my home for 14 years and the work was gratifying and rewarding, but I decided to run for Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court because of my commitment to the Constitution and the separation of powers. I am enjoying my new role as a justice and am committed to honoring my limited role in government by upholding the law and not rewriting the law or legislation from the bench.”

Justice Kennedy was sworn in as the 154th justice of the Ohio Supreme Court on December 7, 2012. She also discussed with the Federalist Society members how it is a time of change on the court with two other new justices joining the bench as well. Justice William M. O’Neill was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in November 2012 and Justice Judith L. French was appointed in December 2012.

“The new makeup of the court is one to watch,” Justice Kennedy said. “Questions during oral arguments and discussions during case conferences are very interesting. The contributions of all the justices demonstrate their insights and core beliefs about the law and their judicial philosophy.”

Justice Kennedy said besides changes on the Supreme Court, there are also new beginnings in Ohio government marked by the change of leadership and members of the Ohio General Assembly. Justice Kennedy swore in members of the Ohio Senate in January.

“Change is the only thing that is certain in our lives, however like you, I believe core values and principles should remain the same,” Justice Kennedy said. “The future of Ohio is being shaped today, but the guiding principles that shape the future should remain the same.”

“If our fundamental beliefs change, what then is the guiding principle shaping the future of Ohio? As members of the Federalist Society, you believe that Ohio exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of government is central to the constitution, and that the role of a judge is to ‘say what the law is, not what it should be.’ Hold tight to your core beliefs, but help shape Ohio for future generations,” Justice Kennedy added.

Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy served at the Butler County Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations Division since 1999. 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.

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