Miller starts new career: administrative law judge
Corydon attorney and former Harrison Circuit Judge Scott Tower Miller has a new career.
Miller, 60, will don his black judicial robe next as an administrative law judge for the U.S. Social Security Administration.
He was appointed to the lifelong post on Oct. 21 and then had five weeks of training.
“I wanted to narrow the scope of my responsibility,” he said Friday, explaining his reasons for the change. “Instead of handling everything from soup to nuts, now I’ll be making decisions only on Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income” (SSI).
The beginning $90,000 salary and the lifetime appointment also figured nicely into the equation.
“I’m very much looking forward to it,” Miller said. “It’s a career change. I start all over from scratch.
“It’s going to be challenging, rewarding financially, and I hope have far less stress.”
Although the opportunity for advancement exists, Miller said he has no plans to move up the ladder. “If I was 20 years younger, I might think about that,” he said, with a chuckle.
In his new career, Miller will decide whether a person qualifies for benefits or not, and so his decisions will have tremendous impact on people’s lives. “People who come before me will really have problems, either with their health or financially,” he said. “I would feel good if I find they do qualify; then it’s very satisfying.”
His word, however, won’t be the last, because there’s another step in the appeal process.
Miller will commute between Evansville and his home in Corydon. He has no plans to move. He is divorced and has three grown children.
Miller, a Republican, was appointed judge of the joint Harrison-Crawford Circuit Court in December 1973, to replace Jude Eugene Feller, who died of a heart attack. He was elected to office the following year and in 1980 was elected again without opposition.
In 1986, Miller ran for prosecutor in Crawford County, after the joint circuit with Harrison split, but lost that election and returned to private practice.
Before starting his new job, Miller said he completed as many of those private cases “as humanly possible,” and the balance of his clients, most of whom were involved in estates and civil cases, were referred to other attorneys.