Democrats critical of Supreme Court appointment process

virginia democratsDemocrats are saying the election of Stephen R. McCullough to the Virginia Supreme Court brings to an end a drawn-out, botched judicial process that has exposed the kind of back-door politics and nasty rhetoric on which the Republican-led legislature runs.

McCullough’s nomination on the Senate floor broke Senate rules by being offered as a floor amendment to an existing resolution, as opposed to being introduced in a new resolution. This forced both houses of the legislature to vote on a candidate that could not be properly vetted in Committees. Senators and Delegates were given less than 24 hours to review his qualifications and fitness for the bench.

“From the very beginning, Republican leadership has focused on denying a qualified Justice, Jane Roush, from keeping her seat on the Supreme Court,” said David J. Toscano, Democratic Leader. “At the last minute, they proposed a candidate that had a 15 minute hearing and did not receive the vetting that occurred for Justice Roush. This process has been political from the start, and does a disservice to the judicial selection process and the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

“It is unfortunate that our colleagues across the aisle decided to nominate yet another gentleman to fill a seat that was held by an imminently qualified Justice,” said Charniele Herring, Democratic Caucus Chair. “It is not about their new candidates, it is about Republicans playing partisan politics with our judicial system.”