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Lexington native elected Kentucky Supreme Court chief justice

Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts

Kentucky Supreme Court justices have elected a Lexington native to served as the high court’s next chief justice.

Justice Laurence VanMeter will replace retiring Chief Justice John D. Minton, Jr. of Bowling Green who is set to retire after leading the Kentucky Supreme Court more than 14 years.

“I am extremely humbled by the vote of confidence my colleagues have shown in me to be the next head of the Kentucky Court of Justice,” VanMeter said in a statement. “Of course, we are saying goodbye to our long-serving chief justice, John D. Minton Jr., who leaves incredibly large shoes to fill. I hope in some small way to live up to the standards he has set."

VanMeter was elected to the high court in 2016 from the 5th Supreme Court District that includes Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison, Scott, and Woodford counties. Before that, he served 13 years as a Kentucky Appeals Court judge.

Prior to that, he was on bench as a circuit and district court judge in Fayette County.

VanMeter received an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his law degree from the University of Kentucky. More recently, he earned a Master of Laws degree from Duke University School of Law in 2020.

Chief Justice-elect VanMeter will serve a four-year term beginning in January.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.