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Jennifer Kinsley

For Judge of the First District Court of Appeals
Full Term Beginning 2/9/2023

*Top Vote-Getter in Primary Election

Candidate Details

Question 1

List your judicial experience (courts and years)

I have not previously served as a judge.  However, for the past three years, I have served on NKU's parking appeals board, which requires me to review applications to reverse parking tickets by the University and to make decisions on those applications.  While seemingly small in scale, this task has prepared me for judicial service by reminding me that something as minor as a parking ticket can have huge implications in the life of student who is cash-strapped or who has been wrongfully accused of parking out of zone.  I have carefully reviewed and determined each parking appeal with care for the students who come before me.


Question 2

What non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?

I have more than two decades of experience handling intellectually complex and emotionally taxing constitutional, criminal, and civil cases at every level of the state and federal court systems.  These cases have enabled me to develop a broad understanding of the law, the legal system, and the impact of the courts on people's daily lives.  In addition, I have been teaching in law schools for more than two decades as well.  I was one of the first professors at my school to earn early tenure, accomplishing this difficult task in six rather than seven years.  My scholarly research on the intersection of speech and crime has been cited in leading constitutional and criminal procedure textbooks, and I regularly lecture at legal events around the world on topics of constitutional importance.  My peers view me as an expert in the field of civil rights, and my work has been featured in the national news, including on the cover page of The Washington Post and in an Oxygen Network documentary.  Through this experience, I have learned that the law can be an agent for positive change in the community, bringing fairness, transparency, and equality to all.


Question 3

Why are you running for this particular court seat?

I am running for the First District Court of Appeals to strengthen our state courts and to bring my 23 years of experience in the field of constitutional law to our state court system.  I believe that all people are equal under the law. I believe that courts should be transparent, accessible, and accountable to the people they serve. In my opinion, courts should work expeditiously to avoid delay in decision making, and my background in working two jobs for most of my career - as a law professor and an attorney - will enable me to work expeditiously in resolving cases. In addition,  I believe that the judges who decide cases should reflect the communities who appear before them.  Through my relationship with the law school community, I will work to create a program that identifies aspiring judges early in their careers and that removes barriers to accessing judicial seats by women and attorneys of color.