Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Hampton will not yet get a J&DR judge named by the General Assembly

Today is Veto Day at the General Assembly so that means appointing judges will not be on the agenda. Therefore, the decision to name a temporary replacement for the retired J&DR District Judge in Hampton falls to the Hampton Circuit Court judges. This outcome should never occur because it places an unreasonable burden upon the attorney selected as the temporary judge. The appointment only lasts a year, until the General Assembly meets for its 2008 session. The General Assembly can choose to appoint the temporary judge, appoint a different judge, or do nothing which would restart the whole process. In the meantime, the temporary judge must give up his or her law practice without any guarantee of appointment. If the General Assembly decides to appoint a different judge, that temporary judge must return to private practice and rebuild a law practice. There is no excuse for not appointing a judge during the regular session and it is patently unfair to the attorneys involved who are committed to public service. As a reminder, Delegate Gear held up the reappointment of Judge William Andrews to the Circuit Court of Hampton since 2004 leaving the Governor to temporarily appoint the judge to the bench.

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