Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher Appoints Special Justice to the Supreme Court of Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 14, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Today, Governor Ernie Fletcher appointed Judge John Knox Mills as a Special Justice to the Supreme Court of Kentucky.  Judge Mills’ appointment follows today’s action of Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette of Rockcastle County who declined his appointment in the case of Ernie Fletcher, in his official capacity v. Gregory D. Stumbo, in his official capacity, Supreme Court No. 2005-SC-001009.

Judge John Knox Mills was born in Pineville and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law.  He was appointed to the bench in 1992 from the private practice of law, and served as a law clerk for Court of Appeals Judge Judy West.

Currently, Judge Mills is a major and Command Judge Advocate in the Kentucky Army National Guard and has recently served on active military duty in Iraq.  In addition, Judge Mills has taught criminal law at Union College as an adjunct professor.

The appointment of Judge Mills was handled by Edwin Orange, the director of Boards and Commissions for the Office of the Governor. According to Orange, “Judge Mills’ service on the bench and to his country in the Kentucky National Guard is well known.  He is committed to the unbiased and fair application of the law.”

Under Section 110 of Kentucky’s Constitution, “[i]f as many as two Justices decline or are unable to sit in the trial of any cause, the Chief Justice shall certify that fact to the Governor, who shall appoint to try the particular cause a sufficient number of Justices to constitute a full court for the trial of the cause.” 

Oral arguments in this matter are currently scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on March 16 in the chambers of the Supreme Court of Kentucky at the Frankfort State Capitol.


Statement from Judge Burdette