John D. Minton Jr. was sworn in as the fifth Chief Justice of Kentucky on June 27, 2008, after serving for two years as a justice on the Supreme Court. His fellow justices re-elected him for a second term as chief justice in 2012.
In November 2006, Chief Justice Minton was elected to an eight-year term on the Supreme Court of Kentucky after running unopposed in the 2nd Supreme Court District, which is comprised of 14 counties in western Kentucky. He first joined the Supreme Court in July 2006 when then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher appointed him to fill the unexpired term created by the June 30, 2006, retirement of Justice William S. Cooper. Before sitting on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Minton had been a judge on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the state’s intermediate appellate court, since November 2003.
Chief Justice Minton came to the appellate bench from the trial court. He was judge of the Warren Circuit Court from 1992 to 2003. In addition to his trial court duties, he also served by special appointment of the late Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens and then-Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert as Chief Regional Judge of the Green River Region, an administrative post assisting the Chief justice with assigning special judges in a 21-county area of south central Kentucky.
While on the Circuit Court bench, Chief Justice Minton was recognized 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. Chief Justice Minton was actively involved in continuing judicial education as a longtime member of the Education Committee of the Kentucky Circuit Judges Association.
Prior to his election to the circuit bench, Chief Justice Minton engaged in the private practice of law in Bowling Green, Ky., for more than 15 years. He graduated from the University Of Kentucky College Of Law in 1977 and was admitted to the Kentucky bar that same year. He earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Western Kentucky University in 1974 and is a 1970 graduate of Western’s University High School.
At a young age, Chief Justice Minton moved with his parents from Cadiz, Ky., to Bowling Green, where he grew up and currently resides. He is married to Susan Page Minton, a Bowling Green native. The Mintons have two teenage children, a daughter, Page Sullivan Minton, and a son, John D. Minton III.
Chief Justice Minton is the son of the late Dr. John D. Minton and Betty Redick Minton of Bowling Green. Dr. Minton, who passed away June 29, 2008, retired from Western Kentucky University, having served that institution for many years as a history professor, administrator and its fifth president. Mrs. Minton continues to live in Bowling Green.