Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Two Justices Take Ceremonial Oath of Office

Ohio Supreme Court Justices Sharon L. Kennedy and Judith L. French were honored today in front of nearly 300 family and friends during a traditional swearing-in ceremony at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center in Columbus.

Retired Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton emceed the program and told Justices Kennedy and French that Ohioans had two years to look at their decisions and chose the justices based on their quality of work and for the care and concern they have for the rule of law.

“It is one of the most wonderful jobs one could possibly have – to have the trust of the entire state of Ohio putting their faith in you to take this position, one of seven, to decide what the law of Ohio means, what the constitution of Ohio means and sometimes what the constitution of the United State means for the people of Ohio,” Justice Stratton said. “But you’ve elected two fine people to return them to the bench to make these decisions.”

Image of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith L. French taking the oath of office administered by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor as Justice French's family looks onOhio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy taking the oath of office from retired Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Matthew Crehan

Top: Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor administers the oath of office to Justice Judith L. French as her family looks on.
Bottom: Retired Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Matthew J. Crehan administers the oath of office to Justice Sharon L. Kennedy as her niece, Alyse Kordenbrock, holds the Bible.

Image of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith L. French taking the oath of office administered by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor as Justice French's family looks onOhio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy taking the oath of office from retired Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Matthew Crehan

Top: Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor administers the oath of office to Justice Judith L. French as her family looks on.
Bottom: Retired Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Matthew J. Crehan administers the oath of office to Justice Sharon L. Kennedy as her niece, Alyse Kordenbrock, holds the Bible.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor administered the oath of office to Justice French, who was appointed to the court in December 2012 and began her first full six-year term on January 2.

Justice French thanked former teachers and current mentors for guiding her on her path to sit on the state’s highest court. She marveled at the previous two years she has served and said this year she intends to support others.

“No one needs my support more than those who are underserved by our justice system,” Justice French said. “Having served on the Access to Justice Task Force for just a few months now, I intend to continue serving as a resource for the tremendous legal aid advocates we have in this state. But we need more than another voice for legal aid. We need to bring real change to the structure of legal aid and the court’s role in it.”

Retired Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Matthew Crehan administered the oath to Justice Kennedy, who began her first full term on January 1. Justice Kennedy joined the court in December 2012 after she was elected to an unexpired term.

Justice Kennedy said sitting on the Supreme Court bench is the greatest honor of her life.

“I renew my commitment to you and to all the people of Ohio,” Justice Kennedy said. “This year I have a renewed sense of purpose for the coming year. I plan to continue my educational efforts to the young people in community groups across Ohio, speaking to them about the role of the judicial branch in our republic, how it affects our lives, and the Ohio judicial system.”

Ohio State Bar Association Executive Director Mary Amos Augsburger addressed the audience during the ceremony, and the Ohio State Women’s Chamber Ensemble performed.

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