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LWV League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area Education Fund

Smart Voter
Ohio State Government March 6, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Justice; Ohio State Supreme Court; 6 Year Term Starting 1/2/13; 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 Campaign finance, Recusal

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

? 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?

Answer from Fanon A. Rucker:

I agree with the late Supreme Court Justice Thomas Moyer`s position that appellate and Supreme Court Justices should be subject to an appointment system and not elected to their positions. A ―pure‖ appointment system or a hybrid of appointment then retention (as Indiana subscribes) has proven effective in other states.(50) Empaneling a bipartisan (or nonpartisan) statewide commission that includes input from Bar Associations, business, labor and community stakeholders would, in my opinion, instill a greater amount of confidence in the legal system and the process than there is about the current method of selecting judges. Unless and until the system is changed, candidates and sitting justices/judges must be the most vocal and visible objectors to the concept that their decisions are based upon the ideology of their constituents instead of the purest constitutional principles. I would be willing to sign a public pledge that affirmed the commitment to fair and impartial decisions.

? 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?

Answer from Fanon A. Rucker:

There are several obvious situations when judges should recuse themselves on cases before them: where family members are parties or witnesses or where the judge is personally involved with the case as a witness or where the outcome may personally affect the judge`s property or financial interest. Less obvious, but equally important to the public, is the need for judges to recuse themselves from cases in which they know (or strongly believe) that personal bias or preconceived ideas about the subject or parties will prevent them from a fair, uninfluenced decision. An example of this would be a judge who has declared himself/herself to be pro-life recusing themselves from consideration of a question of the constitutionality of a law prohibiting abortions.

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.

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: April 8, 2012 10:57 PDT
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