Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Ohio State University Mandela Fellows Visit Supreme Court

Justice Judith French walked a group of Ohio State University Mandela Washington Fellows through an overview of how justice is done at the Ohio Supreme Court.

The Ohio State University is hosting the young African leaders with a six-week academic program on Ohio State’s main campus.

This group practices in the medical field, but had many questions on how law is carried out in the United States, specifically here in Ohio.

“I asked her what inspires her, what’s the most significant case that she’s ever had. Her response was about the constitutional law and I think that is the basis of everything because it affects all walks of life,” said Debra Kenyanya, a pharmacist from Kenya.

From law to politics, Justice French was impressed by the wide array of questions.

“I think the most surprising question was the Amnesty International one where I was asked if we worked with organizations like Amnesty International so that we can release our opinions peacefully and boy, what an eye-opening question, to even think about that,” said Justice French.

Mandela fellow B.I. Haiban said he’s grateful for what he learned so he can go back to Somalia and help organizations fight for justice, especially for women.

“I’m thankful for the invitation we got at the Supreme Court and it’s a really important opportunity which I’ll take with me back to my home country,” said Haiban.

While not an attorney, Kenyanya says her country, Kenya, is in the middle of a transformation.

“I come from a country where the legal system is being revamped and we are trying to adopt a system of transparency,” she said.

Justice French said the group’s questions rejuvenate her enthusiasm for the American court system.

“It makes me appreciate it even more than I already do.¬†When someone referred to the United States judicial system as a benchmark, with all that’s happening in the world, that’s a nice thing to hear,” said Justice French.