Kentucky Court of Justice
Justice McAnulty bust to be unveiled Feb. 11 as part of Black History Month
FRANKFORT, Ky. – A bust of Justice William E. McAnulty Jr. will be unveiled Thursday, Feb. 11, as part of a tribute to the late justice during the Black History Month program at the Capitol in Frankfort. The event will take place at noon in the Capitol Rotunda and is open to the public.
Justice McAnulty was the first black justice to serve on the Supreme Court of Kentucky. He passed away Aug. 23, 2007, after a courageous battle with cancer.
The Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus is hosting the Black History Month program, titled History in the Making.
Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. will begin the tribute to Justice McAnulty. Katheryn McAnulty, Justice McAnulty’s daughter, and former Justice Martin E. Johnstone will also speak about the late justice. His sister, the Rev. Jean Smith, will conclude the program with the benediction.
Louisville sculptor Ed Hamilton, the award-winning artist who created the Justice McAnulty bust, will unveil the piece. The bust will be located in the vestibule of the Supreme Court Courtroom following the unveiling.
J. Blaine Hudson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville and a professor in the Pan-African Studies Department, will be among the key speakers at the Black History Month program. Other speakers will include Gov. Steve Beshear, Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, Senate President David Williams, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and members of the Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus.
Black History Month is celebrated each February to remember the contributions of black Americans in the United States. The observance began in 1926 when Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week. The weeklong celebration was expanded to a month in 1976.
Justice McAnulty was elected to the state’s highest court in November 2006 to represent the 4th Supreme Court District, which consists of Jefferson County. He had been appointed to the Supreme Court bench on June 28, 2006, to fill the position vacated by retiring Justice Johnstone.
Justice McAnulty served at all four levels of the state court system.
He began his judicial career as a Jefferson County Juvenile Court judge in 1975. He was elected to Jefferson District Court in November 1977, where he served until his election to Jefferson Circuit Court in November 1983. He briefly returned to private practice in January 1990 as a partner in a law firm and then returned to the Circuit Court in 1993. In 1998, he served as chief judge of the Jefferson Circuit Court until he was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 1998 to represent the 4th Appellate District. He came to the Supreme Court from the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 2006.
In 1997, the Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys named Justice McAnulty the Henry V. Pennington Outstanding Judge of the Year and the Leadership Louisville Foundation presented him with its Thomas C. Simons Distinguished Leadership Award.
Supreme Court of Kentucky
The Supreme Court is the state court of last resort and the final interpreter of Kentucky law. Seven justices sit on the Supreme Court and all seven justices rule on appeals that come before the court. The justices are elected from seven appellate districts and serve eight-year terms. A chief justice, chosen for a four-year term by fellow justices, is the administrative head of the state’s court system and is responsible for its operation. The Supreme Court may order a ruling or opinion to be “published,” which means that the ruling becomes the case law governing all similar cases in the future in Kentucky.