An Ohio Supreme Court justice says she was talking judicial philosophy — not politics — when she addressed a Republican crowd about the court serving as a “backstop” for decisions made by GOP officeholders.
Justice Judith L. French, an appointed Republican seeking to retain her seat in the Nov. 4 election, said her remarks at a GOP rally in Powell did not cross the ethical line that counsels judges to be cautious about partisan remarks.
At a Saturday event at which she introduced Republican Gov. John Kasich, French said, “I am a Republican and you should vote for me. You’re going to hear from your elected officials, and I see a lot of them in the crowd.
“Let me tell you something: The Ohio Supreme Court is the backstop for all those other votes you are going to cast.
“Whatever the governor does, whatever your state representative, your state senator does, whatever they do, we are the ones that will decide whether it is constitutional; we decide whether it’s lawful. We decide what it means, and we decide how to implement it in a given case.
“So, forget all those other votes if you don’t keep the Ohio Supreme Court conservative,” French said.
French explained her remarks yesterday, saying, “The policy decisions stay with the legislators, the policy makers. . . . I’m not going to support Republican legislation; I’m not going to support Democratic legislation. It’s not my role.
Except she just said that it was her role, and the most important role In the end, they decide.
Of course, in the end, the US Supreme Court decides. And those positions are filled by Presidents and approved by the Senate.
So in the end, yes, who controls the Senate does absolutely matter.