AUSTINTOWN – Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine, son of Governor Mike DeWine, spoke with members of the Austintown Rotary Club on Monday to shed light on how the justice system works.
DeWine said he had spoken to about 60 organizations across the state since the start of the year.
“It’s really about civic education. I think the justice system is the least understood branch of government, and I think it’s incumbent on us to go out and talk to the folks about the Ohio Supreme Court, the justice system and how important it is, ”said DeWine.
In a presentation of about 20 minutes, DeWine explained to club members how the court system works, what the Supreme Court does and how cases are heard in the High Court.
Rotary Club President Heather Fronk said DeWine’s speech would benefit the club in the long run.
“I think it’s important for us to have different perspectives and different faces not just from the community, but from across the state so that we can stay in touch with what’s going on.” , said Fronk. “Anytime we have speakers ready to come and talk to us and give us different perspectives or what they see, we want them to come.”
DeWine was elected to the Supreme Court in 2016. Prior to taking office, he served on the 1st District Court of Appeal as well as the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.
Talking to groups about how the justice system works is nothing new to him.
“I’ve always thought civic education was important, especially our justice system. Before becoming a Supreme Court judge, I taught a course on modern justice systems to undergraduates at the University of Cincinnati, ”he said. “It’s important to come forward as judges and talk to people about what we do. We’re elected in Ohio, unlike federal judges, so voters don’t always have as much information about us as they would like.
For Rotary Club President-elect Gary Reel, getting the group to talk about DeWine will better connect with these authority figures.
“We never meet those kinds of people. It’s still someone from the area you might know. If we feel like he’s an average Joe like the rest of us, we can feel a little more connected, ”Reel said.
Monday’s presentation marks the third time DeWine has spoken with an organization in Mahoning Valley. He said this trip has a personal connection as well as he has a son who lives in Mahoning Valley. For Father’s Day, he and his son traveled to Eastwood Field to watch a Mahoning Valley Scrappers game.
“I think it’s important that the judges come out of the community,” DeWine said.