August 12, 2014
Justice Kennedy Presents at Waterville Rotary Club

Image of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy with members of the Waterville Rotary Club

Justice Kennedy met with members of the Waterville Rotary Club in Lucas County.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy addressed members of the Waterville Rotary Club at their meeting held on Tuesday, August 12, 2014, in Lucas County.

Established in 1928 with fewer than 50 members, the Waterville Rotary Club maintains its title as the world’s smallest Rotary club.

During her visit Justice Kennedy spoke about the Rotarian code of ethics, known as the Four-Way Test, and its application to the founding of America. She said that America’s founding fathers chose a system of government that lives up to the four standards outlined in the test.

One of those standards—whether something is beneficial to all concerned—is exemplified in the government’s balance of powers.

“The preservation of the government by dividing it into three equal branches is beneficial to all mankind because it ensures that no one branch usurps the right of the people,” she said.

She explained her point further when one Rotarian posed a question asking what the role of judges should be in maintaining America’s constitutional form of government.

“The role of a judge is an interpretive one, not a legislative one,” she replied. “It’s only when judges use judicial restraint that the voice of the people is heard. When judges take out their pens and write something that they want to be there, or erase something they don't like, then the voice of the people is not heard. It would be as if the people had never spoken. Let the legislature write the laws, and the judiciary interpret them.”

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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