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Featured Alumni: Justice Robert Cupp (ICPES 71)

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CuppIn 2006, Justice Robert Cupp was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court after serving in the Ohio Court of Appeals. Justice Cupp’s extraordinary legal career also includes serving in the Ohio Senate for 16 years (1985 – 2000), Lima City Prosecutor (1976 – 1980), and Allen County Commissioner (1981 – 1984, 2001 – 2002).

Justice Cupp attended The Fund for American Studies’ Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems as a college student from Ohio Northern University in 1971. He noted that TFAS was his first significant exposure to some fundamentally important ideas and concepts. He still remembers studying the Federalist Papers and gaining an appreciation of their value in understanding the Constitution.

The Fund’s coursework fueled Justice Cupp’s interest in political theory. “[The coursework] opened the door to continued learning, understanding, and appreciation in the genius of our constitutional system of self-government,” he said.

Justice Cupp’s internship experience also had a significant impact on his career. He interned at the Republican National Committee in the Co-chair’s office. Here, Justice Cupp learned the importance of effective campaigning for other candidates and was inspired to stay involved when the summer ended. “More important, [the internship experience] has enabled me to engage in the larger public policy discussions as a member of the state legislature and to honor the principal of separation of powers as a member of the state judiciary,” he stated.

The internship at the RNC also exposed Justice Cupp to significant political figures such as Senator Bob Dole and Karl Rove, and his overall experience in Washington was influential. Cupp said, “As a farm boy growing up in a rural community, I was in awe just by being in our nation’s capital and being able to see the governmental buildings such as the U.S. Capitol and the White House and to visit historic sites.”

Justice Cupp’s passion for government, the political system and public service has led him to the Ohio Supreme Court. “The concept of checks and balances, separation of powers, and limited government are no longer just abstract concepts,” said Cupp, “but realities that I have enjoyed working with, and within, every day.”

Justice Cupp and his wife, Libby, have two sons who are both Eagle Scouts. The two also have a four year old granddaughter. Justice Cupp serves on the Board of the Black Swamp Area Boy Scout Council and enjoys gardening, amateur photography, and visiting historical sites.

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