Minton sworn into third term as chief justice

Deputy Chief Justice Mary C. Noble (right) performed the swearing-in ceremony Wednesday for Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr.'s (left) third term as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky. Joining him were his wife, Susan Page Minton (second from right), and daughter, Page Minton Smith.  

After eight years as head of the state court system, John D. Minton Jr. will continue in that role in a third term as chief justice of Kentucky beginning June 28.

Minton was actually sworn in to the post Wednesday after fellow Supreme Court justices elected him Monday to another four-year term.

“The Supreme Court re-elected Chief Justice Minton for a third term because of his excellent judicial temperament, his dedicated work ethic and the national recognition he will bring the Kentucky Court of Justice through his upcoming service as president of the Conference of Chief Justices,” Deputy Chief Justice Mary Noble said in a press release. “As chief justice, he has initiated many projects for the betterment of the court system. These include revising legal rules of practice, developing an electronic court filing system and making Judicial Branch salaries competitive with the other branches of government, which the entire Supreme Court supports.” 

Minton said much has transpired in the last eight years to make the judicial branch stronger, leaner and better prepared to meet the changing demands on the state court system. Part of that time hasn't all been rosy, particularly most recently when possible budget cuts would have crippled the system.

“It’s been a privilege to lead the courts during these challenging times," Minton said, in part, in a press release.

“I’m excited to see how our upgrades in court technology are transforming the way the courts do business,” he said. “With our new eFiling program, Kentucky attorneys can now file court documents in any of the 120 counties without having to make a trip to the courthouse. We’ve also undertaken our first-ever judicial workload study to determine how to be more efficient in applying judicial resources to the workload in various jurisdictions. These and many other improvements are possible because we have court personnel, justices, judges and circuit court clerks who are committed to enhancing how we serve the public and are not satisfied with the status quo. I’m proud of their efforts and look forward to continue to work with them to further strengthen Kentucky courts.

“I’m also proud of the partnership we’ve forged with the Executive and Legislative branches these last few years,” he said. “I believe we’ve managed to achieve that elusive balance of good government – maintaining the separation of powers without compromising the power of collaboration.”

Minton became Kentucky’s fifth chief justice in June 2008 and was chosen by his colleagues for a second term as chief justice in June 2012. The chief justice serves as the administrative head of the state court system and is responsible for its operation. He was elected to serve on the Supreme Court in 2006 and was re-elected in 2014 for a second eight-year term.