Editor, The Messenger:

Let’s talk about the most important reasons to vote for Rusty Rittenhouse for judge in the Democratic primary on March 17th.

You may know already that he’s the most experienced candidate, with fifteen years of experience practicing probate law and four years serving as Acting Judge in the Athens Municipal Court. You may know about his proven commitment to our community, serving on the Athens City School District Board of Education and on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters. You may know about his commitment to young people, teaching martial arts classes and engaging children as a magician.

Rusty’s experience and commitment give us reason to make him our next probate/juvenile court judge. But that’s not the end of the story.

Being a judge isn’t easy. It takes wisdom and a level-headed demeanor, an ability to see through chaos and remain impartial when you’re being pulled in every direction. This is sometimes called having a judicial temperament, enabling a person to make good decisions in difficult situations. Rusty Rittenhouse is that person. He has a judicial temperament.

In ancient Israel, King Solomon was renowned for his wisdom and ability to judge disputes. Two women came to Solomon, each claiming to be the mother of the same baby boy. To see which one was telling the truth, he announced that he would cut the baby in half, dividing him equally between the women. The liar accepted that decision. But the child’s true mother objected, pleading to give the baby to the other woman rather than allow him to be harmed. Thus, Solomon discovered the true mother and returned the baby to her.

That story sounds far removed from our modern day, but it’s closer to the mark than you might think. We seldom dispute who a child’s parents are, but we argue plenty about who would be the best caretaker and custodian for a child. We see parents in conflict, grandparents against their adult children, accusations of child abuse both real and imagined, and parents struggling with addiction and domestic abuse.

The answers aren’t easy. A judge can’t err on the side of caution because the stakes are too high and getting it wrong would invariably harm someone. We need a judge who comes as close as possible to that legendary wisdom of Solomon. We can trust Rusty Rittenhouse to be that judge.

Jason Heinrich

Athens

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