Cunningham makes visit to Historical Society meeting
by Hawkins Teague
May 14, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Trigg County Historical Society last week received what one could call a Whitman’s Sampler of former Circuit Court Judge and current Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham: a little bit of Kentucky history, a little bit of Trigg County history and his thoughts on some issues currently facing the court system.

The Historical Society met in the basement of the John L. Street Library for their monthly meeting on May 6. After Kenneth Oakley, the president of the organization, introduced the guest speaker, Cunningham presented him with a gift: the shovel he used in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Justice Center that is now under construction downtown. He then spoke about a variety of issues, including how his life has changed since beginning his term on the Supreme Court about a year-and-a-half ago.

Cunningham said that he spends about 10 to 12 days a month in Frankfort when the court is in session. He said he rents an apartment that was built in 1840, and loves spending time in the city because of his fascination with its history. He also said that is’ been quite a change of pace making the transition from a circuit judge to supreme court justice, but that he has enjoyed it.

“It’s been fun going from representing four counties to representing 24 counties,” he said.

Cunningham tried to put the court’s current position in Kentucky’s society in perspective. He said that if a person ever finds himself or herself dissatisfied with the court’s decisions, it could, and has, been worse. He said that when the Relief Party came into power in the 1820s, its leaders passed a law to eliminate debt. When the Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional, the legislature responded by simply abolishing the court and establishing a new one. For several years, there was a lot of confusion and rivalry related to having two supreme courts.

Speaking of cases faces courts across the state, Cunningham compared routine cases to routine surgery.

“It’s only routine if it’s not you having it,” he said.

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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