VA Senate may restrict Circuit Court’s power to make interim appointments after interim appointment of openly gay judge to District Court

October 3rd, 2012 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

Virginia’s Senate is not set to come back into session until January but already bills are being filed for that session. One in particular appears to stem from the rejection, and later interim appointment, of a openly gay prosecutor to the state’s District Court bench.

First, some background:

Virginia (and South Carolina) grant the exclusive power to name judges for full terms to the legislature. Interim appointments to the state’s limited jurisdiction District Court are permitted when the legislature is out of session by the Circuit Court, but the appointment expires 30 days into the start of the next session (Va Code 16.1-69.9:2).

That legislative appointment process was what blocked Tracy Thorne-Begland from election to a seat on the District Court of the City of Richmond, where he served as a prosecutor. Conservative groups targeted¬† Thorne-Begland and his appointment was rejected by the Virginia House of Delegates. After the session adjourned, the Circuit Court gave Thorne-Begland an interim appointment under 16.1-69.9:2 and the state’s Republican Governor voiced his support.

Under a bill just introduced, however, such an interim appointment would no longer be permissible. SB 693 would amend the interim appointment statute to provide

No person shall be appointed under the provisions of this section if such person was the subject of a special and continuing order and under the order such person failed in the House of Delegates or the Senate to receive a majority vote of the members elected to the respective house of the General Assembly.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice.

2 comments

  1. Rev Donald Spitz says:

    Sodomites like Thorne-Begland belong in prison not on the bench. Homosexuals commit crimes against God, against nature, against the Holy Bible and against the human race.
    After reading this story I now know why God wrote:
    Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
    Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    :26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    :27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

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