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.
In preparing to honor Judy with this Section Fellows award, I spent some time reading her Chair Columns in the Administrative Law and Regulatory News quarterly magazine. That was a fun walk down memory lane. One column stood out to me. In the Fall 2018 issue, Judge Boggs states that “it is my sad duty to report that, on November 5, 2018, we lost one of our most dedicated and enthusiastic members, William S. Morrow.” Her tribute captures Bill’s life and legacy so well:
Perhaps the best way to memorialize Bill is to try to emulate him. Bill embodied the special qualities of this Section, good friendship, keen analysis, excellent writing, intellectual honesty, creativity, decency and a fascination with administrative law and regulatory practice. I look forward to honoring and perpetuating those qualities in the Section with you.
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.
This post is part of the ABA Administrative Law Section Series Celebrating Public Service; all the posts in the series are collected here. This post is a modified version of the author’s tribute essay in the Winter 2021 issue of the Administrative and Regulatory Law News.