Earlier this week, Justice Kennedy spent a full day in Medina County. Speaking at the Medina Chamber of Commerce luncheon, she discussed the relationship between the rule of law and economic growth. “To look at us one would think that we have nothing in common, but just below the surface we are inextricably connected,” she said. Sharon then discussed the breadth of legal issues that come before the Supreme Court of Ohio – from interpreting constitutional and statutory provisions, to construing the terms of a contract, and deciding whether utility rates are reasonable and lawful. She emphasized how the rule of law plays a significant role in economic growth and discussed numerous annual reports written on the topic.
The luncheon was followed by a meeting hosted by the Wadsworth Chamber of Commerce, with chamber members, senior citizens, and students from Wadsworth High School. Her conversation touched upon her journey and pathway to becoming a justice. Crediting many mentors along the way, she credited a high school teacher for planting the seed that there were no limitations on her potential.
“In life there are no ceilings,” said Sharon. “There are only floors to walk across and stairs to climb to achieve your dream. Do not let anyone tell you can’t, and always believe you can.”
Her next stop was at MedinaTV’s studio where she participated in the “Know Your Government” segment, which educates viewers on the role and function of the different branches of the government. Sharon discussed the work of Ohio’s highest court and described how our tripartite system of government balances power between three separate, but co-equal branches.
“We elect our legislators to create our laws and we are granted the opportunity to pick up the phone and direct their action by telling them what bills they should or should not pass,” she said. “We elect our justices to interpret those laws as written, not to rewrite them or legislate from the bench. When justices do not abide by that fundamental principle it jeopardizes our republic. Our republic is dependent upon our elected officials respecting their limited role in government,” she concluded.