Saturday, March 11, 2006

On judicial nominations

A group of former presidents of the Fairfax County Bar made news with their letter protesting the selection of William Petty and Randolph Beales as the new judges for the Virginia Court of Appeals, as reported here in the Connection newspapers and here in the Lynchburg paper. I agree that the General Assembly ought to make sure that candidates for the appeals courts are reviewed by the statewide bar groups, I agree that the General Assembly should include lawyers from every region of the state on the Court of Appeals, and I agree that Judge Ney from Fairfax was certainly the best-qualified candidate in terms of legal scholarship and breadth of litigation experience, but I don't agree that the Fairfax County bar presidents should be bashing Petty and Beales in a way that struck me as a bit misleading (if not just plain wrong) and unnecessary to these other points. Besides which, I am told that Petty is an alumnus of White Elliott & Bundy, from back before my time, and I'm generally a White Elliott & Bundy alumni booster.

Unrelated to the judicial selection process in Virginia, here from the Washington Post and here from Slate and here from the NY Times are news stories on the arrest of Claude Allen, formerly a nominee to serve on the Fourth Circuit and high-ranking official both under Virginia's Governor Gilmore and in the White House under President Bush. In 2003, by a split vote, the ABA rated Allen as qualified.

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