DDN: Asian upbringing influenced Stratton

The Dayton Daily News has published an excellent in-depth look at Justice Evelyn Lundberg-Stratton's upbringing and legal background. OFCC PAC endorsed Stratton's re-election bid in 2002, against a very liberal opponent:

Supreme Court justice raised in Thailand
By Laura A. Bischoff
e-mail address: [email protected]
Dayton Daily News

While most baby boomers grew up on rock ’n’ roll, TV and fast food, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton lived in a jungle, rode elephants, made her own clothes and savored the few times she saw movies and television.

Stratton’s parents, Elmer and Corrine Sahlberg, raised Stratton, her two brothers and one sister in a small town in the jungles of northern Thailand, where they worked as Christian missionaries.

"Sometimes it seems like a different life, like living in a movie," said Stratton, 49, a Republican who was re-elected to a six-year term on the Ohio’s highest court.

Stratton said her upbringing made her fearless, confident and calm. It also gave her a deep appreciation of American democracy and civil liberties, she said. Her background helps her in her job as one of seven Ohio Supreme Court justices. She looks at 200 cases a week, including death-penalty cases, regulatory matters, tax and insurance issues and constitutionality questions (emphasis added).

Growing up in the Third World also gave the judge an appreciation for U.S. democracy and civil liberties.

"I’m very, very conscious of the separation of powers because I grew up in cultures where one power was dominant, usually the administrative side," she said.

"I’m very conscious of the freedom of speech, freedom of press. You’ll see a strong defense of the freedom of press in my opinions, because where I grew up the press was another arm of the government. And I have seen the press in the States over and over and over keep government honest, uncover something that nobody else was willing to deal with or touch. They’re like another check and balance in the system."

On the high court, she’s earned a reputation as a conservative who is sometimes a lone dissenter.

Stratton said she’d like to run for chief justice when Chief Justice Thomas Moyer steps down, but she has no interest in going to the federal bench. But for now, she’s happy with her job.

"I love it. It’s intellectually challenging. It’s really exciting to be with other great minds," she said.

Click here to read the full story in the Dayton Daily News.

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