Tuesday, June 24, 2014
On the upcoming retirement of Chief Justice Kinser
I have been around Chief Justice Cynthia Kinser from time to time the whole time I have been a lawyer. Kurt Pomrenke, now a judge himself, used to tell a story about going to argue against her in the Fourth Circuit and she had her children with her, and all the judges were smiling at the children, and he felt like he was going up against motherhood and apple pie. When she became the Magistrate Judge, I remember her saying that she wasn't able to greet the lawyers with stories like Judge Williams did, because she didn't know that many stories, but in time she came to know a few. The funniest story I ever heard her tell of her days on the Virginia Supreme Court was the one where the hapless lawyer kept calling her "Justice Lacy," until Chief Justice Carrico had enough and explained that the woman on the bench was instead Justice Kinser, whereupon the lawyer said, "oh! you've changed your hair." When she first got on the Court, I rooted for her to do well and later I was pleased that she had done well, a gracious person but also a strong voice for common sense and the rule of law.