LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - William E. McAnulty, the first black to serve on the state Supreme Court, is stepping down from the bench to focus on his fight against cancer.
McAnulty, 59, said in a statement Thursday night his recovery from lung cancer takes precedent over his seat on the state's highest court.
"Serving on Kentucky's Supreme Court has been the most satisfying experience in my career," he said. "However, my family and I will now devote our energies to completing my cancer treatment."
McAnulty was appointed to the court by Gov. Ernie Fletcher in June 2006 to replace Justice Martin E. Johnstone. McAnulty won a full 8-year term on the high court in November, defeating Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann O'Malley Shake.
The justice revealed in last month that he had lung cancer which had spread to his brain. McAnulty underwent brain surgery on July 11 to have a one-inch lesion removed from the base of his brain.
Before the surgery, McAnulty joked about the cancer diagnosis and his meeting with a neurosurgeon.