Governor Fletcher names Ct. of Appeals Judge John Minton to Supreme Court. Fletcher will have appointed more judges than any governor in Ky. history.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today appointed Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge John D. Minton, Jr., of Bowling Green, as Justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky for the 2nd District.

“Justice Minton brings unquestionable credentials to the Supreme Court, and will be a welcome addition to our Commonwealth’s highest court,? said Governor Fletcher. 

“I am honored to accept this appointment from Governor Fletcher to the Supreme Court of Kentucky,? said Justice Minton.  “I have worked throughout my career as both a practicing lawyer and a judge to pursue the highest traditions of public service, and I will continue to uphold those ideals while serving on the Supreme Court.?

“John Minton is one of Kentucky’s finest judges,? said Kentucky Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert.  “He has extensive experience in the practice of law, as well as a trial and appellate judge.  He will be a welcome addition to the Supreme Court.?

According to Chief Judge Sara Combs of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, “Judge Minton is blessed with a superb judicial temperament and brings harmony and wisdom to his surroundings.?

Justice Minton was born in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 1952, and grew up in Bowling Green.  He is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky College of Law.  Justice Minton practiced law in Bowling Green until his election to the Circuit Court in 1992 where he also served as Chief Regional Judge of the Green River region. 

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.  He was later elected to the Court of Appeals in November 2003, and was named Kentucky’s Outstanding Judge that year by the Kentucky Bar Association.

Justice Minton is a member of Broadway United Methodist Church in Bowling Green and a former Lay Leader of the Kentucky Conference of The United Methodist Church. 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.  Justice Minton is a Fellow of the American Bar Association and a graduate of the National Judicial College.

Justice Minton is the son of Dr. and Mrs. John D. Minton, who live in Bowling Green.  Dr. Minton is a retired history professor and administrator at Western, and he served as Western’s fifth president.  Justice Minton is married to the former Susan Lenell Page, a Bowling Green native.  They have two children:  a daughter, Page Sullivan Minton, and a son, John D. Minton, III.

With an unusually large number of judges having retired this summer, Gov. Ernie Fletcher has had an opportunity to put his fingerprints on the state’s judiciary, at least temporarily.

In all, 17 judges, including two Supreme Court justices, retired before July 1, and Fletcher has been naming replacements. The exodus was prompted by a 3.4 percent cost-of-living pension increase available only to judges who retired by June 30. The increase boosted pensions by up to $4,000 a year.

In addition to these l7 judges, Fletcher vetoed a portion of a bill to fund the election of nine new judgeships, and will appoint an additional nine judges in Januaryof 2007.  Other vacancies filled by Fletcher and those expected to occur before the end of his current term, will raise his appointment level to about 50 judges, almost 20% of the entire Ky. judiciary. 

Fletcher, a conservative Republican, acknowledges that he wants to leave his mark on the state’s courts.

“We want to make sure that we have those judges that believe in the fact that their role is not a legislative role, but rather an adjudicating role to interpret the law, not to write the law,” he said.

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