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LWV League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund

Smart Voter
Ohio State Government May 2, 2006 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Judge; Ohio State Supreme Court; 6 Year Term Starting 1/1/07; Democratic Party

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Ohio and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

1. What options do you believe the judiciary has when there is a judicial decision that requires the legislature to act if their response does not fully address the decision? (150 word limit)

Answer from William Michael O'Neill:

The judiciary is the third independent branch of government with the solemn obligation to insure that the other two branches follow the law as written. When a legislative body or an executive branch is either unwilling or unable to follow the law, the judiciary is required, through contempt proceedings, to enforce its own orders. For years courts, through their orders, have compelled individuals to perform tasks which they might otherwise avoid. Through their Orders, Courts have run schools and mental institutions; placed individuals in jail, seized wages, attached and disposed of property and utilized a host of other methods of persuading individuals to follow the law. Naturally, Courts can use persuasion to achieve a proper result. However, at the end of the day, a court which does not enforce its own orders has abandoned its role as the third independent branch of government.

Answer from A. J. Wagner:

First, it is essential that the Court's decision is explicit as to what the offending matter is so as to aid the legislature in understanding what must be remedied. If the decision is not clear enough, rewrite it to make it clear. Be specific about exactly what statutes or parts of the statute are problematic. Second, if contempt is clear, consider contempt proceedings. Third, if these solutions do not or cannot work, the Court may assign a special master to implement the needed changes to bring the law into compliance with the constitution. Fourth, the Court may also implement a restraining order preventing any action that does not comply with the Court's order.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. 150 Word limits apply for each question. Direct references to opponents are not permitted.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: June 7, 2006 11:53 PDT
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