Kentucky Court of Justice
Judicial Nominating Commission announces nominees for new Family Court judgeship in Hopkins County
The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert, today announced the three nominees to fill a new circuit judgeship for the 4th Judicial Circuit, Division 2, consisting of Hopkins County. This new judgeship will serve the Family Court Division of Circuit Court and is one of nine judgeships approved by the 2006 Kentucky General Assembly which became effective Jan. 1, 2007.
The three nominees from Hopkins County are attorney Pat Day, former Judge Susan Wesley McClure and attorney James M. Ruschell.
Ms. Day practices law in Madisonville where she concentrates on family law and civil actions. She holds a bachelor's degree from Murray State University and a juris doctor from the University of Louisville School of Law.
Susan Wesley McClure
Judge McClure graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor's degree and juris doctor. She served as a Hopkins County circuit judge from January through December 2006 and was previously a domestic relations commissioner for Hopkins Circuit Court and assistant county attorney for Hopkins County.
James M. Ruschell
Mr. Ruschell has served as an attorney with the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy since 1991. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky and a juris doctor from Case Western Reserve Law.
Judicial Nominating Process
When a judicial vacancy occurs, the executive secretary of the Judicial Nominating Commission publishes a notice of vacancy in the judicial circuit or the judicial district affected. Attorneys can recommend someone or nominate themselves. The names of the applicants are not released. Once nominations occur, the individuals interested in the position return a questionnaire to the Office of the Chief Justice. Chief Justice Lambert then meets with the Judicial Nominating Commission to choose three nominees. Because the Kentucky Constitution requires that three names be submitted to the governor, in some cases the commission submits an attorney's name even though the attorney did not apply. A letter naming the three nominees is sent to Gov. Ernie Fletcher for review. The governor has 60 days to appoint a replacement and his office makes the announcement.
Circuit Court, Family Court Division
Family Court is a division of Circuit Court, Kentucky’s highest trial court level, and employs full-time judges with the same qualifications as those who serve other divisions of Circuit Court. Family Court jurisdiction includes dissolution of marriage; spousal support; child custody, support and visitation; paternity; adoption; domestic violence; termination of parental rights; and dependency, neglect and abuse. The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) in Frankfort is the administrative arm of the Kentucky Court of Justice and supports the activities of more than 3,500 court personnel, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks.