VA Senate now trying to restrict governor’s power to make interim appointments after interim appointment of openly gay judge to District Court

January 10th, 2013 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

Back in October I noted the prefiled bill, SB 693, related to judicial selection in Virginia. In short, after the Virginia legislature blocked appointment of an openly gay lawyer to a seat on the District Court, the Circuit Court appointed the lawyer to fill an interim vacancy under a statute given the Circuit Court the power (Va Code 16.1-69.9:2). SB 693 would prohibit an interim appointment where “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 patron of SB 693 has now introduced SJR 292 of 2013 which takes the language of SB 693 and applies it to the Governor who, under the state’s constitution, may make interim appointments to the state’s Supreme Court and other “courts of record” (i.e. Circuit and Court of Appeals).

SB 693 and SJR 292 have been referred to the Senate’s Courts of Justice Committee.