Wishing Mindy Walker all the best in her newly elected position as Jefferson County District Court Judge. I appreciated Walker’s comments in The Leader on Jan. 23 addressing “ … weighing the safety of the community” before placing anyone in custody; the “spirit of the law” in scale with its letter.
Interpreting legal statutes by balancing community safety and tolerance of questionable actors’ behavior or violence in its myriad forms requires understanding and wisdom. I’ve extended family that have been attorneys and district judges, and the effort and dedication it takes to safeguard a healthier happier community is of great value. Judges not only have to deal with troubled, hurting folks but can also receive unwarranted harsh criticism, threats and, occasionally, endure sleepless nights from unjustified critics.
Which brings me to my main point: retiring judge Jill Landis stood her ground, made our community safer and brought panache, courage, strength and vision to those who came before her court with mental illness, substance abuse issues and heavy-footed gas pedals. Her candor, firmness and fairness saved many lives. Plus, I witnessed two GLBT weddings she administered in her courtroom, and the ceremonies were amazingly fun, joyous and spiritual.