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LWV League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area Education Fund
State of Ohio March 6, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Robert W. Price
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Justice; Ohio State Supreme Court; 6 Year Term Starting 1/1/13; Democratic Party


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. There is a public perception that campaign spending influences judicial decisions. What steps should be taken to give Ohioans confidence that justice is impartial and not influenced by campaign spending?

The problem of public misperception about parties attempts to influence jurists with large contributions comes, I believe, not from the jurists, but from the parties attempting to influence the jurists and the appeals that they make to their members. Special interests that pursue their own agenda, of either political stripe, first appeal to their members to give funds and lead them to believe that a judge may be influenced, even if only indirectly. This is not to say that judges or judicial candidates do not discourage such perception by silence. I received a recent questionaire from a group who wanted to know how as a justice I could advance the interests of that constituancy. These questions were improper because a justice or judge should have no constituancy save the rule of law.

2. Ohio has recusal standards requiring judges not to participate in cases where they have an interest. What are specific examples of situations where you think a judge should recuse himself or herself?

As a practising attorney, I have a simple rule regarding conflicts of interest. If there appears to be a conflict, I walk away from the case. This question relates very well to your first question about the appearance of influence from political donations. It is naive to assume that a sitting justice should recuse himself in every instance. I have a strong labor background, but would not step down from every case relating to unions. Prior reperesentation of a union or union official would be an obvious reason for recusal, however. Close personal relationships would also cause me to step back. The same standards that apply to Justices of the United States Supreme Court would not necassarily apply to Justices of the Ohio Supreme Court because these justices do not have a lifetime tenure. The voters are the ultimate arbiters of a justice`s actions. If I were a hunting companion of a litigant, or if my wife was associated with a political action committee supporting a litigant,for example, as in the case of recent US Supreme Court cases in which justices refused to recuse themselves, common sense would dictate taking a step back.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. Word limits apply. 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: February 29, 2012 12:18
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