Why are you the best-qualified candidate for the judgeship you are seeking?
As a magistrate for over 11 years, I have presided over hundreds of cases and hearings, including civil trials, pre-trial motions, felony criminal matters such as arraignments, extraditions, and probation violations, and both Domestic Violence and Civil Stalking Protection Orders. As a part of these duties I frequently interact with attorneys, law enforcement, and probation officers.
The Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order cases in Domestic Relations Court often involve crimes for which charges have been filed in Municipal Court or Common Pleas Court. Many of the parties do not have attorneys, so I have gained valuable experience and understanding of legal proceedings from the perspective of those who are in difficult situations and are unfamiliar with the courts.
I have experience with a broad range of legal matters having researched and written decisions for the judges of the Common Pleas Court for the many different types of cases that come before the Court.
In general, what is your judicial philosophy?
I am an originalist. In interpreting the constitution or statutes, a judge must look to the plain meaning of the law as it was understood when it was adopted or enacted. Other approaches undermine the rule of law, usurp the authority of legislatures and the people to make the laws, and subject society to uncertainty, the preferences of judges, and passing political whims. A judge properly constrains himself in this way and is a constraint on the other branches of government by assuring that they act in accordance with constitutional and statutory limitations. In this manner the liberties of the people and litigants are protected.
I believe that every person appearing before the Court should be treated with respect and have an opportunity to be heard. Courts are important institutions that protect individual rights through due process and standards of evidence. These should not be sacrificed or eroded to reach popular outcomes or for the sake of current political fashions.
What else would you like to say to voters?
I am a conservative and a proponent of limited government, the purpose of which is to protect life, liberty, and property. Courts play an important role in protecting the lives, liberties, and property of citizens from wrongdoers and encroachments of the government by upholding the law and enforcing contracts.
I have had the privilege of working for several honorable judges in the Court of Common Pleas. We are fortunate in Licking County to have a trustworthy Court system in which cases are decided fairly, impartially, and expeditiously. I will ensure that this is the case in Municipal Court so that the people of Licking County have confidence in their Court. It will be my goal to ensure the ethical practice of law by those appearing in the Court and seek the prompt resolution of disputes because I believe the time and resources of clients, attorneys, and the public are valuable and should not be wasted.
Matthew George will always uphold the law and the U.S. Constitution, even when Matthew may have a different personal view. Some activist judges use the law to advance personal opinions. Matthew will uphold the law and the Constitution.