Sharon L. Kennedy

For Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
Term Beginning 1/1/2021

Age: 58

Residence: Hamilton



Social Media: Facebook:;

Occupation: Ohio Supreme Court Justice

Education: Juris Doctor, University of Cincinnati, College of Law 1991; Bachelor Degree of Social Work, University of Cincinnati, School of Social Work, 1984

Work Experience: Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio, 2012-Present; Administrative Judge/Judge, Butler County Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division, 1999-2012; Attorney at Law, General Practice, 1991-1998; Magistrate & Warrant Officer, Butler County Area Courts, 1995-1998; Warrant & Compliance Officer, Butler County Juvenile Court, 1996-1997; Special Counsel, Ohio Attorney General Betty D. Montgomery, 1995-1998; Disciplinary Counsel, Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 38, 1991-1998; Director, Victim/Witness Division, Butler County Court of Common Pleas, 1989-1991; Law Clerk for the Honorable Matthew J. Crehan, Judge, Butler County Court of Common Pleas, 1989-1991; Police Officer, Hamilton Police Department, 1985-1989


Affiliations: Present: Lean Forward: Advancing Veterans Treatment Courts Across Ohio (, Butler County Bar Association, The Federalist Society, Continuing Legal Education Seminars for judicial and bar associations; Past: Ohio Judicial Conference, Domestic Relations Law & Procedure Committee; Alcohol Drug Addiction Services Board; Butler County Juvenile Court, Multi-Disciplinary Intervention Program; Butler County Work Group Committee; Cincinnati Bar Association; Lakota East Mock Trial, Advisor; Law Enforcement Training, Lecturer; Lindenwald Kiwanis Club; Habitat for Humanity; Hamilton Chamber of Commerce; Honor Council, University of Cincinnati College of Law; Hope for Healthy Kids; Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges; Oxford Chamber of Commerce; Senior Citizens, Inc.; St. Xavier High School, Lecturer; Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA); YWCA, Board Member

Endorsements: Affiliated Construction Trades Ohio (ACT Ohio), Black Women’s PAC, Buckeye Firearms Association, Cement Masons and Plasterers Local #886, Formerly Incarcerated Individuals Necessary Political Action Committee, Fraternal Order of Police, G-PAC, Cincinnati Right to Life, The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 18, NFIB Ohio PAC, The Northwestern Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Local Union #894, Ohio Bail Agents Association, Ohio Business Roundtable, Ohio Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee, Ohio Citizens PAC, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Agriculture for Good Governance Political Action Committee, Ohio Manufacturers Association PAC, Ohio Real Estate Investors Association, Ohio Right to Life, Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, Ohio State Medical Association Political Action Committee (OSMAPAC), Ohio Veterans United, Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Local Union 219, Roofers Local 134, Stark County Votes for Women, Toledo Police Command Officers’ Association (T.P.C.O.A.), Tri-State Building & Construction Trades Council

Bar Association Ratings: 

Other: NAACP Cleveland, 2020, 4.33/5

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio, 2012-Present; Administrative Judge/Judge, Butler County Court of Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division, 1999–2012

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
My non-judicial experience informs my judicial experience and I draw upon that experience everyday as a justice at the Supreme Court of Ohio.

I began my career in the justice system as a police officer in the City of Hamilton enforcing the law and keeping the peace. I left law enforcement to attend law school and served as a law clerk in the Court of Common Pleas, General Division for Judge Matthew J. Crehan drafting memos and opinions for motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment.

Serving as a solo practitioner, I practiced law in a wide-array of areas including, but not limited to, criminal, domestic relations, probate, and juvenile in both the trial courts of Butler County and the Twelfth District Court of Appeals. During that time I also served as Special Counsel for Attorney General, Betty D. Montgomery and a part-time Magistrate in the Butler County Area Courts hearing civil cases.

In 2019 the docket of the Ohio Supreme Court of Ohio included the following case types: 48.8% criminal; 21.8% miscellaneous; 17.5% civil; 7% practice of law; 4.9% domestic relations, juvenile, and probate.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am seeking re-election to the Ohio Supreme Court to continue my service to the people of Ohio – applying the law equally – in a fair and impartial manner providing a definitive statement of law in a clear and concise decision.

In addition, I seek to continue my work beyond the bench, including but not limited to, my Lean Forward initiative which advances substance abuse and mental health treatment of justice-involved veterans, civic education about the importance of our tripartite system of government and the role of the judicial branch in that government and the availability of employment opportunities for women and minorities in the law, continuing to write and present legal education programs on important issues like professionalism and cultural consciousness, and my work to expand the reach of problem solving courts by incorporating programs like Bridges Out of Poverty and growing holistic re-entry programs.