Bass ceremonially sworn in as Circuit judge
The investiture of Circuit Judge Suzanne Bass on Thursday wrapped up a busy month for the Duval County Courthouse's ceremonial Courtroom 406, as it hosted its third ceremony of the month.
Bass unseated Judge John Merrett during the primary election in August with 58,484 votes, or about 59 percent. She already has attended judicial college and was officially sworn in during a smaller ceremony in January, but Thursday's ceremonial session allowed colleagues, friends and family to witness the event.
Before Bass was sworn in, Chief Circuit Judge Donald Moran took a moment to thank University of North Florida President and former Mayor John Delaney for his efforts to bring a new courthouse to Duval County during his time in office.
"Mayor (John) Peyton may have moved the project the last two yards, but you started it and took it 98 yards," said Moran.
Delaney developed the Better Jacksonville Plan during his second term as mayor to provide funding for growth management of road and infrastructure improvements, environmental preservation, targeted economic development and new and improved public facilities, which voters approved. A new courthouse was included in the plan.
Delaney also was a guest speaker at the ceremony and talked about why Bass will make a good judge for 4th Judicial Circuit.
"Suzanne has two traits that I have noticed in the 30-or-so years that I have known her. First, she is deeply inquisitive. Secondly, she wants her decision to be correct," said Delaney.
"She cares that the decision she makes is correct and that is exactly what I'd like to see in a judge," he said.
Bass was sworn in by Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper, but before the oath, she provided more background into Bass' life. Cooper recently learned that her sister had met Bass in the Girl Scouts when they were children.
"When she told me that, I thought I would look back at the Girl Scout promise because it is Suzanne and it is what she has lived by," said Cooper.
The Girl Scout Law states, "I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful; considerate and caring; courageous and strong; and responsible for what I say and do; and to respect myself and others; respect authority; use resources wisely; make the world a better place; and be a sister to every Girl Scout."
Bass was an attorney in private practice before being elected as a judge.