The Volokh Conspiracy

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A Tribute to Judge Judy Boggs

"Judy has lived her life in the trenches of the regulatory state, giving everything she has to help government work wherever she has served."


My colleague Chris Walker wrote a well-deserved tribute to Judge Judy Boggs. Here is an excerpt:

At the 2020 ABA Annual Administrative Law Conference in November, I had the privilege of presenting the Section Fellows award to the Honorable Judith Boggs. I often tell my students that when you want to know how to get somewhere in life, you have to figure out who is already there. Take a look at their resume and career, and see how they got there. For those interested in administrative law and regulatory practice, look no further than Judy Boggs.

As her biographical sketch reveals, Judy has lived her life in the trenches of the regulatory state, giving everything she has to help government work wherever she has served. She worked in the White House as a Senior Policy Analyst. She worked as Special Assistant to the Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She worked in administrative law at the state level, serving on the Kentucky Human Rights Commission and as counsel to the Kentucky Mental Health Department.

But most people know her as Judge Boggs. For nearly the last two decades, she has served as an agency adjudicator at the U.S. Department of Labor. She was first appointed to the Administrative Review Board in 2002. Since 2004, she has served on the Benefits Review Board, where she became Chair and Chief Administrative Appeals Judge in 2019.

Judy has also given so much to the ABA Administrative Law Section over the years, including as Section Chair two years ago. She continues to be an invaluable resource and support for the Section.

Reading this tribute, however, I found myself thinking about another treasured member of our Section: Judy herself. These are values Judy embodies—and values she has encouraged the Section to embrace. Authentic friendship. Keen analysis, creativity, and judgment. Intellectual honesty and integrity. Human decency and empathy. And, of course, a deep and contagious fascination with administrative law and regulatory practice.

So congratulations to Judge Boggs on this honor as Section Fellow. I look forward to her continued contributions to the Section for many years to come.

In addition to being an expert on administrative law, and a committed jurist, she is a mensch. I was fortunate to have gotten to know Judge Judy Boggs during my time clerking in Louisville. At the start of the year, she graciously welcomed all of the clerks to her home for Rosh Hashanah dinner, and invited us to sit with her her during services. Throughout the year, we would frequently join Judge Boggs and her husband (my boss) for get-togethers. She always beamed whenever she talked about her children and grandchildren. Judge Boggs planned elaborate trips around the globe to visit with family. And every year, I enjoy receiving the Boggs annual card, which regales, with intricate details, everything the family has accomplished! Judge Boggs is truly a gem.

Congratulations, Judge Boggs!