LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky's first black Supreme Court
justice said he has lung cancer that has spread to his brain.
William E. McAnulty Jr., 59, who won election to a full term on
the court in 2006, said he will have surgery next week to remove a
one-inch segment of his brain. McAnulty said he met with a
neurosurgeon on Thursday to discuss the diagnosis and surgery.
"My only question was will this make me a UK fan or affect my
political outlook," McAnulty said. "He assured me it won't, so
I'm excited about that."
McAnulty won a full 8-year term on the high court in November,
defeating Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann O'Malley Shake that fall,
taking 104,356 votes, or 52 percent, to Shake's 97,155 votes, or 48
percent. The electoral win came just months after Gov. Ernie
Fletcher appointed McAnulty to the Supreme Court to replace Justice
Martin E. Johnstone, who retired in June 2006.
"Justice McAnulty is an outstanding individual and we're
saddened to hear this news," Fletcher said. "Our thoughts and
prayers are with him and in keeping with his character, we know he
will face this with a great deal of courage."
The surgery will keep McAnulty away from the court for several
months, but the justice said he will read briefs and watch
videotapes of oral arguments, cast votes in cases and write
opinions while he recovers.
"We're just going to whip this and go on," McAnulty said. "I
don't plan to miss a beat. I ain't going anywhere."
McAnulty said the lung cancer came from years of smoking, a
habit he kicked in December.
"I'm paying the piper. I ain't a victim and I ain't going to
whine," McAnulty said. "If you let something overwhelm you, it
will overwhelm you."
McAnulty said his fellow justices have been supportive since the
diagnosis, offering help while he's out and their prayers.
McAnulty's first judgeship was in 1975 on the former Jefferson
Juvenile Court for two years before winning election to Jefferson
District Court, where he stayed until 1983. McAnulty also served as
the state Justice Cabinet secretary under former Gov. John Y. Brown
Jr., taught at the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of
Law, then returned to the bench in 1984. In 1998, he was elected to
the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved