Judge Pat DeWine, candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court 2016 election, made a trip to Shawnee State University on Monday to speak with a group of students about his campaign.
“We are in town today to talk with a group of Shawnee State University students about the race, and we wanted to stop in The Daily Times while we were here,” DeWine said. “My judicial philosophy is that I’m a Constitutional Conservative. I believe in applying the law as it is written, not legislating from the bench. I believe that by doing that we achieve fairness, because we apply the same rules to everyone. Right now I am a judge on the 1st District Court Appeals in Cincinnati. I am the only person running for the Ohio Supreme Court that has been both an Appellate judge, which I am now, and also a judge on the Court of Common Pleas which I did before I was on the Court of Appeals.”
In addition to his extensive work in the court system, DeWine is also a professor at University of Cincinnati Law School, and teaches undergraduates at University of Cincinnati. He has also practiced law at one of Cincinnati’s largest law firms for 13 years,
“I have also served as Hamilton County Commissioner, and have served on Cincinnati City Council, so I understand how the decisions the court makes affect the real lives of people in our communities,” he said. “It is important that we have a stable, predictable court system because that allows the economy in Ohio to prosper, it allows people to create jobs and also make sure that people are safe in their communities.”
He said he possesses qualities that set him apart, experience being the first.
“There are a number of things, I think that set me apart, one is experience. The fact that I have been not only an Appeals Court Judge, but also on the Trial Court, so I understand how things really work at the trial level, and all of what the Supreme Court does is review the decisions of the Trial Court judges,” he said. “But beyond that, the experience of having served on a city council, having been County Commissioner, allows me to understand a broader perspective of how the decisions the courts make affect our community.”
The drug epidemic is an issue that DeWine said he is really concerned about.
“That is an issue that I am very concerned about. When I was on the Common Pleas Court, I saw so many people who might have been in front of me for burglary, or some other crime, but really at the root of it was that they had become addicted to some form of opiates, heroin or some type of pills,” he said. “One of the most rewarding things when I was on Court of Common Pleas was being through probation to get those folks into treatment, and sometimes it worked and sometimes unfortunately, it didn’t. It depended upon the person, and how much they wanted help. I spent a lot of time over the past few years looking at what worked and what didn’t. I was in Hocking County last week where they have a Vivitrol Court that’s funded by the Ohio Supreme Court. It is a pilot program, giving these folks Vivitrol but also other services to deal with their addiction while the Vivitrol reduces their cravings for heroin. I was there just to see how that worked, and to talk with the people on the program, and see what they thought about it.”
DeWine is an Ohio native, the oldest of eight children making him a people-centered person.
“I grew up the oldest of eight kids in a small town in south west, Ohio, and I think that I understand this area of the state, he said. “My wife and I have five children, five teenagers, actually, so I have spent a lot of time actually in Portsmouth over the years. I am someone who will be fair, and will make sure that everyone that comes before the court is treated fairly. I call myself a Constitutional Conservative because I believe very strongly in the principles of our Constitution, and that our courts should not stray from those principles.”
Even though there is so much emphasis on the race for the Presidential office, he said the Ohio Supreme Court race is also extremely important.
“This is an important race, and people are thinking a lot about the Presidential race and the Senate race with good reason, he said. “But we are also going to elect two new Justices in Ohio, so it is important that we elect people who are experienced, and I believe people who have Constitutional principles.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.