Kentucky Court of Justice
Justice John D. Minton Jr. to be sworn in June 27 as chief justice of Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- John D. Minton Jr. will be sworn in as chief justice of Kentucky during a formal investiture service Friday, June 27, at the Capitol. The public and media are invited to attend the ceremony, which will begin at 11 a.m. EDT in the Supreme Court Courtroom. Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert, who will retire June 27 after 10 years as chief justice and 22 years as a justice, will administer the oath of office for Justice Minton.
The Supreme Court justices elected Justice Minton, 56, on May 12 to succeed Chief Justice Lambert. He will become the fifth chief justice of Kentucky and the first new leader of the Judicial Branch in a decade.
Those participating in the service will include Chief Justice Lambert, Gov. Steve Beshear, Senate President David L. Williams, House Speaker Jody Richards and Diane Thompson, the immediate past president of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks. Also giving remarks will be the other Supreme Court justices, Deputy Chief Justice Will T. Scott and Justices Lisabeth Hughes Abramson, Bill Cunningham, Mary C. Noble and Wil Schroder.
"Justice Minton is an outstanding scholar and a person of unquestioned integrity," said Chief Justice Lambert. "His experience serving as a judge for three levels of Kentucky courts equips him well to be an outstanding chief justice. I expect his tenure to be successful."
The Supreme Court Courtroom is in Room 210 of the Kentucky Capitol at 700 Capitol Ave. in Frankfort. A reception will be held on the second floor of the Capitol following the ceremony.
Profile of Justice Minton
Justice Minton was elected to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November 2006 to represent the 2nd Supreme Court District. He had been appointed to the high court on July 24, 2006, to fill a vacancy created by Supreme Court Justice William S. Cooper, who retired June 30, 2006. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Minton served as a judge for the Kentucky Court of Appeals, representing the 2nd Appellate District. He was elected to the Court of Appeals in November 2003 and served there until his appointment to the Supreme Court in July 2006.
He was a circuit judge from 1992 to 2003 for the 8th Judicial Circuit, which consists of Warren County, before being elected to the Court of Appeals. From 1996 to 2003, he also served by special appointment of the late Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens and Chief Justice Lambert as chief regional judge for the Green River Region, a 21-county area.
While on the circuit bench, Justice Minton was recognized by the Kentucky Court of Justice for his leadership in forming the Warren County Drug Court and for his commitment to law-related education programs. In 2003, the Kentucky Bar Association honored him with its Outstanding Judge Award. He is also a graduate of the National Judicial College.
Before his election to the Circuit Court bench, Justice Minton practiced law in Bowling Green for nearly 15 years. He earned a bachelor's degree with honors in history and English from Western Kentucky University in 1974 and a law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1977. Justice Minton is a member of Broadway United Methodist Church in Bowling Green. He serves on the board of the Student Life Foundation at Western Kentucky University. He is also a member and past president of the Bowling Green Rotary Club and a former member of the board of directors of Shakertown at South Union.
Originally from Cadiz, Ky., Justice Minton grew up in Bowling Green where he continues to reside. He is married to Susan Page Minton, a Bowling Green native. They have a daughter, Page Sullivan Minton, and a son, John D. Minton III.
Justice Minton is the son of Dr. and Mrs. John D. Minton of Bowling Green. Dr. Minton previously served at Western Kentucky University as a history professor and as the fifth president of that institution.
Supreme Court of Kentucky
The Supreme Court of Kentucky is the state’s highest court. The seven justices are elected from seven appellate court districts and serve eight-year terms. The Kentucky Constitution provides that the Supreme Court justices elect one of their fellow justices to serve as chief justice for a term of four years. As executive head of the statewide judicial system, the chief justice oversees the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort and the 4,000 statewide employees of the Kentucky Court of Justice, including elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. The chief justice proposes a biennial budget to the General Assembly and executes the Judicial Branch budget.
Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Kentucky
John D. Minton Jr., June 27, 2008-
Joseph E. Lambert, 1998-2008
Robert F. Stephens, 1982-1998
John Stanley Palmore, 1977-1982
Scott E. Reed, 1976-1977