Sunday, September 08, 2019

On the investiture of Justice Chafin

I missed the ceremony but got to the after-party for the swearing-in of Justice Teresa Chafin of the Supreme Court of Virginia, in time to say hello to the new justice and her husband and her brother. I'm sure that Justice Chafin will do well on the Court.

The first time I appeared before Circuit Judge Chafin was in a Dickenson County case, where Judge Vanover had a conflict. She told a story about trying to get started one day in Tazewell only when she got on the bench there was a courtroom full of clients but no lawyers. She told the masses that when their lawyers appeared they would know where to find her and turned to leave. Two old-timers were sitting in the front room, and she heard one ask before she got out of the room, "What did she say?" The one with the better hearing replied, "She said she's pissed!"

On the W.D. Va. vacancy

The White House is considering the nomination of U.S. Attorney Tom Cullen for the judicial vacancy in the W.D. Va., bypassing the two candidates Circuit Judge Kilgore and Magistrate Judge Ballou proposed by Senators Kaine and Warner. The senators get to decide whether to go along with any nomination. In 1938 and again in 1976, Virginia's senators derailed nominations by presidents (of their own party) to the W.D. Va. The vacancy was created when Judge Conrad took senior status in 2017.

Locally, Judge Corker was nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate for the seat on the E.D. Tenn. in Greeneville that became vacant in 2018.  Senators Warner and Kaine both voted against Judge Corker, who was confirmed by a vote of 55-39.

Both Cullen and Corker are Richmond natives who went to law school at William & Mary and clerked for federal judges in Virginia.

The Roanoke paper had this story.