Judge Kennedy passionate about judicial restraint

Judge Kennedy passionate about judicial restraint

During the Holmes County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner on Monday, Feb. 11, Ohio Supreme Court Judge Sharon Kennedy was very passionate about every single judge exhibiting judicial restraint behind the bench rather than imparting their own beliefs when imparting sentences and dispensing rulings.


According to Sharon L. Kennedy, 154th Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, judicial restraint is something that must take place in order for the judicial system to work.

Kennedy was the keynote speaker for the Holmes County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner on Monday, Feb. 11 at Carlisle Village Inn. She is seeking re-election in the November general election.

Kennedy was re-elected to a full term in 2014, winning all 88 of Ohio’s counties. Kennedy served as a judge in Butler County’s Court of Common Pleas, domestic relations division, beginning in 1999. From 2005-12 she was an administrative judge of that division.

While in private law she served the legal needs of families, juveniles and the less fortunate, and her career began as a police official. In 2012 Kennedy was named by the Cincinnati Enquirer as one of 13 professional women to watch.

During her time at the podium at the banquet, Kennedy touched upon the life of Abraham Lincoln.

“We are here tonight because we all believe in certain things,” Kennedy said. “We have firm convictions, and we fight for them every day. Each person has the right to live their faith, and lastly the Republican Party finds a responsibility that, in the words of Lincoln, our government that is of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish this earth.”

Kennedy spoke about the American dream and how it is not always achieved on the first attempt, maybe not the second or third or many more. She noted it is in the relentless pursuit of a person’s dream that it becomes worthwhile, and showing a willingness to pick oneself up and get back on track after a failure only makes an individual stronger in their pursuit.

“There is no guarantee we are going to be happy,” Kennedy said. “But you get to pursue that happiness and the dream you have. It is in the pursuit of the American dream that we are led, by faith. It is not by happenstance that the founders recognized that our lives and our liberties come from our creator.”

She went on to note Lincoln’s faith never wavered when other men, weaker men, might have folded and given in to popular demand.

“Today our party does not wane in our resolve, but it is strengthened to set a new day, each day, for all of us, for all of the generations coming behind us, that they too celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as our forefathers recognized,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said while many pundits believe Ohio is now firmly a red state, she said further review shows that great caution must be taken in trusting that line of thinking.

“We are the party in the beliefs in what the founders have given us,” Kennedy said. “It is this simple: We believe our voice is that of the representative. We elect the men and women who will serve us. It was the first experiment of constitutional supremacy in the world, and as a result of that, they gave us a representative voice. It is us who design America and Ohio.”

Kennedy went on to discuss the idea that the legislative branch works to create the laws that constituents believe are true and just, and it is then up to the judiciary branch to wait for the case and controversy to reach them. She said judges must embrace judicial restraint in doing the right thing, regardless of whether they are Republican or Democrat.

“Ronald Reagan said, ‘It doesn’t matter whether liberal or conservative because the Constitution isn’t liberal or conservative.’ What does matter is serving with judicial restraint. If I as a judge get to put my thumb on the scale and decide or write the law as I want it, you have nothing,” Kennedy said. “It is then and only then, when judges show restraint, when they honor their limited role in government, that your voice lives.”

She said 2020 could be a game-changer should the Democratic Party secure these two seats. She said if that were to happen, the Republican Party would lose control of the court, and there would be a monumental ideological shift in power.

“We need you to be the offset for the deeper and deeper red, so we need you to do what you always do and do it even better,” Kennedy said. “May we be mindful that we are always to live in a state of gratitude, grateful that we live in a country where every person is free to worship and speak their own beliefs and use their own labor, time and talents for their own prosperity.”

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