Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Justice Kinser to be the next Chief Justice

The Virginia Supreme Court has announced the selection of Justice Kinser as the next Chief Justice.

Justice Kinser clerked for Judge Williams, along with George Allen, who appointed her to the Supreme Court, after she had served for some years as magistrate judge for the W.D. Va. She was sworn in as a member of the Virginia Supreme Court in a memorable ceremony at the Lee High School in 1997, and many of the readers of this blog were there, as I was.

The funniest story I ever heard her tell was about the time she sat on a writ panel and some idiot lawyer (my words, not hers) kept addressing her as "Justice Lacy." She said nothing, but the lawyer persisted. Finally, unable to take it any longer, Chief Justice Carrico told the lawyer that in fact his colleague was Justice Kinser, not Lacy, whereupon the lawyer squinted up at the bench and said, "oh, you've changed your hair."

Justice Kinser is a soft-spoken, congenial person, who has been a free thinker on the Court, writing a fair share of separate opinions, including for example her dissent in Almy v. Grisham, with which I agree completely, no matter what the other six justices thought.

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