The Virginia General Assembly on Thursday elected Court of Appeals Judge Stephen R. McCullough to fill the vacancy on the Virginia Supreme Court left by Justice LeRoy Millette. Prior to being elected to the Court of Appeals, McCullough worked in the Attorney General’s Office from 1999-2011, serving in various senior level capacities.
“Today, the Virginia General Assembly fulfilled its constitutional duty by electing Judge McCullough to the Virginia Supreme Court,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “Despite repeated misguided attempts to circumvent the clear language of the Constitution of Virginia, legislators reaffirmed their exclusive responsibility to elect judges to Virginia’s courts.
“Judge McCullough is an eminently qualified jurist who will make an outstanding addition to Virginia’s highest court. We are grateful to him for his willingness to serve the Commonwealth.”
“Today’s vote ends a seven-month-long attempt to usurp the constitutional authority of the General Assembly,” said Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City). “The united commitment of House and Senate Republican leadership to fulfill our duty by filling this vacancy has overcome unconstitutional attempts to adjourn last August’s special session and to cede legislative authority to the executive.
“Judge McCullough’s election closes this chapter in Virginia history. Upon reflection, it is our hope that our Democrat colleagues will examine and reflect upon their efforts to deny another outstanding jurist, Judge Alston, this opportunity to serve on the Court.”
“We have been reminded in recent months of the critical role the judiciary plays in our government,” said Senate Courts of Justice Committee Chairman Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham). “To protect our rights and liberties, we must elect judges who will adhere to the Constitution and apply the law as written. Judge McCullough has already demonstrated he is a principled jurist of outstanding character. We are fortunate to have him on the Supreme Court.”
“Judge McCullough is an experienced appellate judge who will make significant contributions to the Supreme Court,” said House Courts of Justice Committee Chairman Dave Albo (R-Fairfax). “Throughout the last 19 years, he served the Commonwealth with the utmost distinction. From his time in the Attorney General’s office as Solicitor General and an Assistant Attorney General to his current tenure on the Court of Appeals, Judge McCullough has gained wide respect from his peers.”