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LWV League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund
State of Ohio November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

Maureen O'Connor
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Chief Justice; Ohio State Supreme Court


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Ohio and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. How do you define "judicial independence", and how important is it to our judicial system? What measures ensure an independent judiciary?

Judicial independence is essential to our legal system and is its very foundation. It is being faithful to the ‗rule of law` without respect to persons, politics, or special interest groups. Only the public can ensure independence of the judiciary in an elected system by voting based on knowledge about the candidate, qualifications and record. Groups like the LWV play a crucial role in educating the voters with impartial material. The candidates` websites are also information rich sources.

2. Would you recuse yourself if a party before you had made a significant judicial campaign expenditure toward your election? Please explain.

As long as the contribution is under the limits set by rule there is a presumption that there exists no conflict of interest. Because judicial candidates disclose all contributions on a regular basis, by law, by reporting to the Sec. of State there are no hidden contributions and all is available for public scrutiny. I recuse from cases in which I have a conflict by virtue of my previous positions or any other reason.

3. What do you perceive to be the greatest obstacle to justice in Ohio?

I believe that there needs to be a method to bolster the confidence in the legal system among many of our citizens. It has nothing to do with politics or geography and has everything to do with the socio-economic factors. Education, involvement and participation are ways to dispel false impressions of the judiciary and ways to encourage more people to become involved not only in the legal system but in government as a whole. There is room for all to participate. Being an educated voter about all races, not just the partisan or top of the ticket races, ensures that the rule of law guides our courts. Judges on all levels should be engaged in 22 appropriate forums to let people know about the job of a judge. Without that ―T.V. Judges‖ will continue to create a false image of our justice system.

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

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: September 26, 2010 17:04
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