The American Dream of Ivan Shutinya

In Maryland, there are elected members of an Orphan’s Court who deal with cases involving those who die without a will and guardianship issues of minors. The Republicans have three candidates in Baltimore County up for the three potential spots on the Court. As the title suggests, I want to tell you about Ivan Shutinya. Shutinya is a 29 year old lawyer from Baltimore County who graduated magna cum laude from St. Mary’s College and in 2006, received a service award from the University of Maryland Law School as he graduated. While in college, he specifically studied family law – providing him with a good background for the role. Due to the economy, he was laid off last fall and decided to run full time for Judge of the Orphan’s Court. Shutinya’s goal is to eventually be the first disabled member of the Supreme Court because what I haven’t told you about Mr. Shutinya is that he suffers from cerebral palsy, and was specifically diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia. Despite all these challenges, the wheel-chair bound Shutinya achieved so much in his life already and his good attitude and drive make him a hero in my mind.

When asked about a platform by Maryland Reporter, Shutinya said, “You can’t really have a platform. As a judge, the idea is to be fair and impartial…[but] I’m a hard worker. I have had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get where I am now…I would be fair. I would follow the law. I would uphold my oath as a judge, and not have personal opinions.” I like that from a judicial candidate. His uncle set up his website here if you’d like to learn more. Currently, Shutinya is a finalist in the National Disability Institute’s “My American Dream” contest. Check out his video and vote for him – to help him raise funds and make his dream come true.

Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant

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