» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 125 | NO. 187 | Monday, September 27, 2010

Higgins Takes Long Road to the Bench

By Bill Dries

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Email reporter | Comments ()

Gina Higgins thought 2006 was the year she would run for judge in the once-every-eight-year races known by politicians as the “big ballot.”

But when she asked two trusted colleagues, her law partner Rita Stotts and retired Circuit Court Judge George Brown, they said the time wasn’t right.

After the death of Stotts, who was a Circuit Court judge, Higgins was among those who applied to be one of the three finalists recommended by the Judicial Nominating Commission for the vacant Circuit Court Division 4 position. She wasn't a finalist and Gov. Phil Bredesen went with finalist Lorrie Ridder.

Undeterred and with Brown now saying the time was right, Higgins challenged Ridder in the Aug. 5 special election.

She won in an unusual slate of five special judicial elections in which three appointed judges, including Ridder, lost their bids to remain in office through 2014.

Higgins took the oath of office soon after, and last week she took the ceremonial oath before a group of over 100 family members, friends and other judges at City Hall.

“I’ve already had the practice round and I think I know how this is supposed to go,” she said of the first smaller ceremony in which she was sworn in by Chancellor Walter Evans before talking about her longer-than-expected path to the bench. “I tried to do it my way and it didn’t work out just that way. God saw fit to do it his way, because in doing it his way he was showing all of us that it was him and not me.”

Higgins was described by Viola E. Johnson, her other law partner in the firm with Stotts, as “a woman of integrity” with “a wicked sense of humor.”

And Higgins remembered Stotts as a presence “who is never far away” and “a lawyer’s lawyer and a judge’s judge.”

Among the other judges attending the ceremony was fellow Circuit Court Judge Bob Weiss, another of the winners from the Aug. 5 judicial elections.

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email


 
Blog Get more from The Daily News
Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 86 313 4,762
MORTGAGES 97 409 6,640
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 34 147 1,475
BUILDING PERMITS 0 705 11,294
BANKRUPTCIES 53 311 4,525
BUSINESS LICENSES 41 177 1,983
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 64 436 6,253
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 132 1,373

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.