by Jay Johansen | Oct 17, 2004
Ohio has a bizarre law that says that candidates for judge are not allowed to say where they stand on the issues or what they will do if elected. The law actually dictates to all candidates what their platform must be -- some meaningless pap about being fair and impartial and loving their mothers. (Well, the first two of those anyway.) This makes it very difficult for the citizens to decide who to vote for.
But two candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court have gone so far as to say that they believe that judges should "interpret the law and not make law from the bench". If I may paraphrase for them, they believe that the Constitution and laws mean what they say, and not what judges think they should have said. Or to put it another way, they believe that to amend the Constitution or laws we should have to go through the process described in the Constitution, rather than a judge simply declaring that he's "discovered" something in the Constitution that nobody ever noticed before.
Why is this important? American judges have come up with some very creative interpretations of the Constitution and state laws in the last few decades. In the 60's they discovered that the Constitution forbids prayer and Bible reading in schools, something that would surely have surprised the writers of the Constitution. In the 70's they discovered that the Constitution guarantees a right to abortion, despite the fact that that word never appears, and they weren't even sure where in the Constitution they found this. In the last few years judges in Massachusetts discovered that their state Constitution required gay marriage. A judge in Nevada decided that the state requirement that tax increases must pass by a 2/3 majority doesn't apply in cases where the judge believes a tax increase is necessary to fund education. And in the last presidential election, the Supreme Court of Florida declared that when their state law said all recounts must be completed within "seven days", that this meant "nineteen days".
Anyway, the candidates for judge who say that they believe that judges should obey the Constitution are:
And right here in Greene County, I've picked up a few things here and there about candidates' views on abortion through my association with various pro-life groups.
|Congress, 7th District||Dave Hobson||Very mixed record, but pro-lifers are coming to like him. Avowedly pro-choice but generally votes against government funding of abortion and voted for Partial Birth Abortion Ban. Compared to the average American he's on the pro-choice side of center, but compared to the average member of Congress he's pro-life.|
|State Senator, 10th District||Steve Austria||Gives pro-life answers on surveys. Definately talks pro-life in private.|
|State Representative, 70th District||Kevin DeWine||Gives pro-life answers on surveys. Pro-life in private. And he's a cousin or something to Mike DeWine, a very pro-life U.S. senator, which should get him some points for guilt by association.|
|Clerk of Courts||Terri A Mazur||Used to work for Mike DeWine, which would imply she can't be too anti-pro-life. Bonus points on guilt by association.|
|County Engineer||Robert N Geyer||Said he is pro-life.|
|Montgomery County Commissioner||Peggy Lehner||Active in pro-life organizations. No question on this lady.|
For more information, let me refer you to:
© 2004 by Jay Johansen
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