In a courtroom filled to standing room only on Monday, Gray Borden officially became the newest U.S. Magistrate judge in the Middle District of Alabama.
“We don’t have many happy days in court, but this is a happy day because we’re officially adopting (Borden) as magistrate judge,” said Keith Watkins, chief U.S. district judge for the Middle District of Alabama.
Borden was chosen in August from five candidates submitted by the Merit Selection Panel, which was composed of attorneys and community members.
He joins Chief Magistrate Judge Susan R. Walker, Magistrate Judge Terry F. Moorer, Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel, Recalled Magistrate Judge Charles S. Coody and Recalled Magistrate Judge Paul W.Greene.
“The quality of people who applied was just outstanding,” said U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. “… (but) it was a unanimous decision, and an easy one.”
Several of the judges also noted Borden’s judgeship would provide welcome relief to the understaffed court.
“I’m sure (the district and magistrate judges for the Middle District of Alabama) are delighted to have some assistance … with two vacancies and no relief in sight,” said Judge Joel Dubina, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Dubina also said he has known Borden since he was born, and has watched Borden seek and achieve excellence throughout his lifetime.
Borden previously worked as a civil litigator with the Birmingham firm of Lightfoot, Franklin and White before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he was an assistant U.S. attorney for five years.
“My dream has always been to be on the bench, but I’m not just going to sit back and relax now that I’m here,” Borden said. “I want to be a good judge … I’m doing everything I can to get there, but I hope that y’all will hold me accountable, too.”
In addressing everyone at his investiture ceremony, Borden also noted his relatively young age.
“I know it took some faith to recommend somebody who’s 36 for a federal judgeship. I get that. But I will not let y’all down,” Borden said.
Source: The Montgomery Advertiser