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LWV League of Women Voters of Ohio

Smart Voter
Ohio State Government November 7, 2006 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Judge; Ohio State Supreme Court; 6 Year Term Starting 1/1/07

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 Judicial and Legislature

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 Terrence O'Donnell:

The Ohio Constitution establishes the Judiciary as an equal branch of government, not superior to either the Legislative or Executive branches. Courts only assert judicial authority over parties to lawsuits, and do not exercise jurisdiction over those not before the court on a pending matter. As such, courts merely decide the legal issues presented in a given case.

I am unable to conceive of a judicial decision that would "require" the Legislature to act given that it is a separate branch of government elected by the voters; it is not the role of the Judiciary as interpreters of law to supersede the role of the Legislature as makers of law.

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.

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: January 4, 2007 09:48 PST
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