The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

December 15, 2007

Judge Thomas Johnston

He misses politics, but loves sinking teeth into complex legal issues

His eyesight may not have allowed him to pursue one of his early career dreams, but there’s no denying that U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston has perspective. His vision, from childhood onward, has been ever upward — with his goals, his lofty pursuits, his career path and his faith.

At age 38, Johnston was the youngest federal district judge in the country when President George W. Bush appointed him to serve the Southern District of West Virginia in April 2006. Prior to that, when Bush tapped him as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia in September 2001, he was the second-youngest U.S. Attorney in America. The first 40 years of his life have been quite a journey for the man who once thought the wild blue yonder and the U.S. Air Force were beckoning him to walk on air.

“I was very involved in Civil Air Patrol. I had aspirations of going to the Air Force Academy and becoming an Air Force pilot. I ultimately chose not to do that. My eyes went bad during my first year of college, so I couldn’t fly. I wanted to fly the SR-71 — a high-flying, fast spy plane,” Johnston recalled of his high-school years.

“I was very interested in the military and aviation. On the other hand, I was very interested in public speaking, politics and current events. Everyone who knew me would tell you that I was interested in pursuing a career in politics. I was pretty goal-oriented when it came to that. My initial motivation for law was an interest in politics. I felt early on that a lot of people in politics were also lawyers, and there’s a relationship there. A lot of what is involved in politics and what is involved in law overlap. The skill sets translate nicely. Certain skills you might acquire in politics can be very helpful in the practice of law. I saw them as hand in hand. You can also certainly make a better living with a law degree than a political science degree,” he quipped.

Text Only
Life!
  • 072314 Life CrossFit 4.jpg Crossfit Nation: Working out the WOD way

    Just as fashion trends come and go, so do fitness fads, and Cyndie Chinn had tried them all.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • downsize 1 Living large in smaller spaces

    How is it possible that as your nest gets emptier, your garage gets fuller? Living off the grid sounds tantalizing — the extreme version of paring down. But are you ready for solar panels and growing your own groceries or would a smaller home do the trick?

    July 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Relishing the faith of little children

    July 19, 2014

  • Guns 1 ‘Guns’ for Life

    With the latest World Health Organization figures showing global life expectancy increasing from 64 years in 1990 to 70 years in 2011, staying healthy enough to add quality to the quantity of life is an important consideration.

    July 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • coconut 4 Crack open the power of the coconut

    Now let’s get this straight …
      We know about Parrotheads. And Cheeseheads. But when did Coconut Heads become cool?
    Move over, argan — you are so last season. Another exotic oil is taking lead role in everything from shampoo to weight-loss supplements. That cast-iron skillet seasoning, stretch-mark banishing essence of the hour is — coconut oil.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Free summer serenade concert to be held

    Aurora Celtic, sponsored by Ivy & Stone, presents the free Summer Serenade concert Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Brown House lawn in Summersville.

    July 13, 2014

  • WVU Extension: Healthy summer eating tips for all occasions

    Summer and early fall are the times of year for family reunions, potluck picnics, pool parties and various other celebrations where we like to share food.

    July 13, 2014

  • new BAF fund Endowment still helping students attend college

    The “Beckley College, College of West Virginia, Mountain State University and University of Charleston-Beckley Alumni Association Fund” has the distinction of having the longest name of any of the 400 permanent endowments managed by the Beckley Area Foundation.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • My faith is an anchor to hold on to

    July 12, 2014

  • 062514 Life Piloxing 3.jpg Wellness Wednesdays: One-Two, Punch!

    In a fast-paced blend of pilates, boxing and dance, a popular group exercise class at the YMCA called Piloxing is a sure way to increase cardio and build long, lean muscles.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos