At least two hundred people gathered in the beating heat today to honor state Supreme Court Justice Adolpho Birch.
They tried to get a glimpse of the big shinny scissors in his hands as he bent to cut the ribbon in front of the new Nashville court building bearing his name.
[Sound: Justice Birch cuts ribbon and people clap]
Chief justice William M. Barker praised his fellow justice noting that Birch once sold hotdogs and newspapers and even drove a taxi during law school before his rise to the state’s highest court.
Justice Birch says he was thankful and overwhelmed. During the dedication he pointed to a quote from Alexander Hamilton that is engraved in the new court building—“The first duty of society is justice.”
“Let those words that define this building resonate through every courtroom and reverberate through every corridor and corner of this building and when we can hear that resonation and when we can hear that reverberation, we shall be able to proclaim with solid conviction that the building is truly alive and that we have kept the faith.”
Justice Birch has served 37 years on the bench. He is one of the few judges in the state to have served at every level of the Tennessee court system.