Kentucky's first blind judge, David Holton, to retire next month - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky's first blind judge, David Holton, to retire next month

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Jefferson District Court Judge David Holton Jefferson District Court Judge David Holton

LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) -- Kentucky's first blind judge will retire next month after nearly a decade on the bench.

Jefferson District Court Judge David Holton, who lost his vision at the age of 10 due to a brain tumor, is widely known and respected around the courthouse and city, a constant presence walking with his black Labrador retriever.

Holton, who also has announced high school football games despite not being able to view the action, is leaving the bench on Sept. 30 to work in private practice and perhaps run for office at some point.

"My public service is not completed," he said. "It's been a good ride and I've enjoyed it. I'm ready for a new challenge."

Asked if he was thinking of running for any particular office, Holton demurred and said it would be unethical to talk about while he is still serving as a judge.

Holton is known for being Jefferson County's first Veterans Court judge and halting the controversial practice of routinely handcuffing and chaining children who appear in juvenile court. He was chief district judge in 2015 and 2016.

He said he hopes his legacy will help others without sight get a chance to serve on the bench.

"Hopefully I've performed in such a manner that will allow those who follow me to have the same opportunity," he said in an interview Tuesday.

Chief Justice John Minton posted Holton's vacancy this week asking attorneys interested in filling Holton's spot until the next election to contact the state's Judicial Nominating Commission by Aug. 10.

Holton first took the bench in 2008 and was re-elected without opposition in 2010 and 2014.

He plans to work in private practice and hasn't discounted a return to calling high school football games, as he has done for both Manual and Western high schools in past years.

Others in the press box, working their binoculars to get the details correct on every play, relay the information to Holton as quickly as possible. He even called a KHSAA championship game at Western Kentucky.

"I've sent word … that I'm willing to go back in the press box," he said.

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