GREENVILLE – The 2019 election is only a couple weeks away, but the Darke County Republican Party is already looking forward to the 2020 election. Although it will be a presidential election, local party leaders are showing concern for a statewide election that sometimes goes unnoticed. Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy addressed the annual Republican Hog Roast on Sunday afternoon to share why the race for the court is important.
Before introducing Justice Kennedy, Ohio Senator Matt Huffman explained Ohio Supreme Court justices are elected through a statewide election. Republicans currently have a 5-2 majority in the court. Two Republicans, Kennedy and Judith French, will be on the ballot in 2020. “What happens if we lose these two elections next November?” asked Huffman. He answered his question by pointing out the Democrats will have a 4-3 majority on the court. “Even though we have a Republican governor, even though we have 60 out of 99 seats in the House of Representatives, and even though we have 24 Republicans out of 33 in the Senate, even though we have worked hard and won because we have better ideas and better policies, whatever we do as a legislature and whatever Governor DeWine signs into law or executive order, those things are all threatened by a Democrat controlled Supreme Court.”
Justice Kennedy gave a passionate plea to local voters to spread the word about the importance of the election in 2020 and putting Kennedy and French back on the court. She said that in 2018, Republicans “dropped the ball.” Kennedy explained, “Two members, endorsed Republicans, were on that statewide ballot and you elected a governor, attorney general, secretary of state and auditor with more than five percent and our Supreme Court candidates failed by more than five percent.” The margins of gain in counties where Republicans did well were miniscule and couldn’t overcome the counties where Republicans were destined to lose. “We lost our way,” she said.
She continued, “There is not a cheat sheet at the end of the ballot. At the end of the ballot the R’s and D’s fall off because I do not represent a political platform. I present our ideology of what judges should be.”
Kennedy explained she believes in judicial restraint. “We believe that members of the judiciary have a limited role in government and that limited role in government is judicial restraint. We believe that in order for the Republic to live, judges must only honor their role in government, not rewrite the law or legislate from the bench – putting their thumb on the scale, erasing words they don’t want, filling in words that don’t exist to achieve an outcome.”
The justice said we want our Republic to live. “Our Republic lives when judges don’t usurp your voice. Our Republic lives when we honor our limited role in government.”
She blamed Republicans for not doing their job in 2018 and losing two seats on the court. “Every day I will crisscross Ohio and seek to move my name. What will you be doing in the next 381 days to make sure the Ohio Supreme Court does not change its philosophical make up?”
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