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Position papers: Ohio Supreme Court justice

10/4/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Robert Cupp (incumbent) vs. William O’Neill

Robert Cupp
William O’Neill
Voters will vote for one candidate for Ohio Supreme Court justice for the term commencing Jan. 2, 2013, on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot. While the races for judge are nonpartisan, each party nominates a candidate, and we have opted to list party affiliation with those candidates. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their response to our question printed as submitted.

Robert Cupp (incumbent)

Political affiliation: Republican

What are the three most important issues facing the court and how would you address them?

“First. The primary responsibility of the court is to decide cases before it in a manner that ensures a stable, consistent and fair legal environment for Ohio. This requires applying settled precedent and the plain meaning of the statutes and the constitution to each case and not attempting to re-write the statutes or re-make the constitution from the bench.

“Second. I will continue to support efficiencies in the operation of the Supreme Court and our judicial system while maintaining or improving effectiveness and service. One significant improvement would be the use of electronic filing in the Supreme Court and in courts of appeals. I will continue to encourage efforts to implement full electronic filing.

“Third. Greater public understanding of our constitutional system of government and the role of our court system is needed. I will continue to promote civic education through such efforts as the high school mock trial program, the We The People program on the U.S. Constitution, and by speaking before civic and school groups explaining how the courts work in protecting individual rights, property rights, and peacefully resolving disputes.”


William O’Neill

Political affiliation: Democrat

What are the three most important issues facing the court and how would you address them?

“The three most important issues facing the Supreme Court of Ohio are (1) the way we elect Judges in Ohio; (2) the public’s perception that ‘justice is for sale’ in Ohio; and (3) the Supreme Court’s abject failure to protect the Ohio Constitution from the actions of the Ohio General Assembly. Let me elaborate.

“The way we elect Judges in Ohio makes no sense at all. It is supposed to be a ‘non partisan’ selection process but the reality is there are no elected Democrats on the Court. That’s because elections for seats on the Ohio Supreme Court for the past decade have designed around million dollar television commercials that say nothing. Yes I like puppies and apple pie and look good in a blue suit. But does that make me a qualified Justice on the highest Court in the State?

“There is a perception in Ohio that justice is for sale. That perception is fueled by instances where Judges raise money for elections and then sit on cases involving their contributors. That is wrong, and a sixth grade civics class know that it is wrong. Money and Judges don’t mix. Never have and never will.

“And lastly, the Ohio Supreme Court was, and is, a total failure in refusing to protect the Ohio Constitution from its violation by the Ohio General Assembly in regards to school funding. The method we currently have is neither thorough nor efficient as mandated by the Ohio Constitution and soon all taxpayers will bear the burden of a collapsing educational system precipitated by the Ohio Supreme Court’s failure to exercise its constitutional duties.”

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