August 8, 2014
Justice Kennedy Speaks at Oakwood Rotary Club

Image of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy and Oakwood Rotary Club Director Al Leland, Oakwood Rotary Club Sergeant-at-Arms P.J. Janis, and Oakwood Rotary Club President Tommy Routsong

(left to right) Oakwood Rotary Club Program Director Al Leland, Oakwood Rotary Club Sergeant-at-Arms P.J. Janis, Justice Kennedy, and Oakwood Rotary Club President Tommy Routsong.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy addressed members of the Oakwood Rotary Club at their meeting held on Friday, August 8, 2014.

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

Justice Kennedy also took questions from the audience and was asked whether she ever had difficulty coming to a decision as a judge or justice.

“Serving 14 years as a trial court judge in the domestic relations division, I did wrestle with decisions, particularly when it impacted the lives of the children,” she admitted. “You’re making a decision that will forever impact a child's life. There is no way to know for certain the final outcome of that decision. So yes, it is difficult, but it should be. As a judge you should care about the impact of your decisions, but you must make a decision relying on the evidence presented and that which you believe is in the best interest of the child, and then let go and move on.”

In response to whether she found it difficult as a justice to reconcile the law with the outcome of a case, she responded: “It’s not difficult to reconcile the law. My job is to follow the law as written, even if I don’t like the outcome.”

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.

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