Friday, February 23, 2007

Judicial Selections - Continued

We just can't get through a session without some controversy on judges.

Hampton Delegate Tom Gear refused to fill a vancancy for a J&DR judge for his judicial circuit because his sister was one of the candidates. Otherwise, we may look admirably at his decision to leave the choice up to "the Circuit Court judges because they dealt with local lawyers regularly," yet his past decisions have been directly contrary to that position. As the article points out, Gear has held up the reappointment of Hampton Circuit Court Judge William Andrews since 2004 despite overwhelming support for the judge from the local bar and from legislators in the surrounding jurisdictions. For what it's worth, the sentiment here is that Kathy Gear Owens will be a fine judge.

We also noted that Deputy Attorney General Richard B. Campbell was named to to be a judge of Richmond's Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. I don't know his qualifications, but on many levels it does seem like an atypical career move from the AG's office to J&DR court bench. On the other hand, it is rather refreshing that Judge-to-be Campbell has a hobby that doesn't involve the law.

Finally, Judge Sword won reappointment to the Circuit Court in Portsmouth. Democratic Delegate Melvin from Portsmouth, a lawyer, led a spirited opposition to Judge Sword, which was joined by many Republicans, but the final vote generally followed party lines.