A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

After being re-elected, Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice Minton sworn into office remotely

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr., after being re-elected to that position by the justices, was sworn into that office remotely by Deputy Chief Justice Lisabeth T. Hughes.

With the re-election to another four years, Minton became only the second chief justice in Kentucky to be chosen to serve four terms.

Hughes says if you look at Minton’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic the past several months, you can understand why he was chosen for another term.

Chief Justice John Minton was sworn into a second four-year term. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

“In the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, he quickly adapted court operations to protect the health and safety of court personnel and the public,” she said. “He has been just as deliberate in planning how we will resume court services. This steadiness under pressure came as no surprise to those who have watched him lead the court system through many challenges during his 12 years as chief justice.”

Minton said he appreciates the opportunity to continue building on what the judicial branch has accomplished over his past three terms.

“Our push to invest in court technology seems especially prescient now that a pandemic has forced us to offer many services online,” he said. “While the use of eFiling, eWarrants, text notifications and videoconferencing is always efficient and cost-effective, these are indispensable tools when social distancing is critical to public health.

“Over the past several weeks, our judges, circuit court clerks and court personnel have had to adjust to a constantly changing environment and I’m grateful for their flexibility and resiliency. Their ability to rise to the occasion during this unprecedented emergency has made me even more proud to work alongside them to serve the commonwealth.”

Prior to being elected to the Supreme Court in 2006, and winning re-election eight years later, Minton was a circuit judge from 1992 to 2003 and a Kentucky Court of Appeals judge from 2003 to 2006. He was in private practice for 15 years before taking the bench. He holds degrees from Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky College of Law.

He is a former president of the national Conference of Chief Justices and a former board member for the National Center for State Courts. Minton previously served on the board of the Council of State Governments and is a 2010 alumnus of the CSG’s prestigious Toll Fellowship Program. He was appointed to the State Justice Institute Board of Directors in 2016, where he currently serves as board chair.

The Kentucky Bar Association gave him the Outstanding Judge Award in 2003 and he was named Distinguished Jurist in 2012 by the University of Kentucky College of Law Alumni Association. He was inducted into the Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2013.

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