She’s spent 26 years at the federal courthouse in Tyler, but today was her last. Judge Judith Guthrie is retired. But, she has no plans of slowing down.
She didn’t want a big going away party, just, “when I leave the courtroom will you wave your flags and say bye judge?” she asked those at her last naturalization ceremony.
But many of her family and friends showed up anyway.
“Because she encourages you to be the best that you can be and then working for her makes you want to be more,” Terri Hoskins, an operations analyst who worked with Guthrie for 15 years, said.
Judge Judith Guthrie remembered her first day on the job.
“The people were arguing, that sounded good, that sounded good, then they turned around and looked at me and I said, okay, I decide, uhh you win,” she said.
She was shocked that was all, it was over.
“This is an amazing system, where yesterday it wouldn’t matter, because I was not a judge, but today I took an oath of office, put on a black robe, somebody has to make the decision, that’s the way the system’s set up, and today it’s me that gets to make it,” said Guthrie
That’s when she realized she was exactly where she needed to be.
“I had discovered in practicing law that I was much better at judging a case than advocating it,” she said about her decision to be a judge.
She spent her last day at a naturalization ceremony, her favorite. Though she is glad to be retired, she says she will miss one thing, “the people, all the people.”
In her retirement she is excited to read, spend time at church, write memoirs and spend more time committed to multiple charities.
“She’s really big into [charities], and from what I understand that’s how she’s going to spend a lot of her spare time,” Hoskins said.
“And I’ve served the public and it’s been a high honor and a privilege…thank you,” Guthrie said.
And just as she had wished, the room waved their flags and said, “bye, judge.”
One of the judge’s former co-workers even flew in all the way from San Francisco to support her on her last day.
The judge’s seat will be taken over by Judge Nicole Mitchell.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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