Legislators snub Bar choice for judge

The Courts of Justice committees in the House and Senate interviewed three candidates for Albemarle Circuit Court judge yesterday: Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos, former prosecutor Cheryl Higgins, and Assistant CA Claude Worrell. The invites to Richmond did not include the recommendation of the Charlottesville Albemarle Bar and the Madison Greene Bar associations, Charlottesville General District Court Judge Bob Downer. The local Bar also deemed Higgins "highly qualified."

The Goochland resident who came from nowhere to toss his name into the hat to replace Judge Paul Peatross– Rich Savage– just as unexpectedly withdrew Tuesday, Bob Gibson reports in the Daily Progress.

According to Gibson, legislators don't have a clue who the next Albemarle judge will be. Delegates in the 16th Circuit mostly favor Higgins while senators lean toward Camblos. Worrell could be the deadlock-breaking candidate if legislators can't agree, reports Gibson. Worrell would be the circuit's first black judge, Higgins would the the 16th Circuit's first female judge, and Camblos would continue the long tradition of white male judges.

The Republican caucuses in the Republican-majority General Assembly are expected to defer to the choice of the 12 legislators in the 16th Circuit, says Gibson, but our local reps have no meeting planned in the three days before the session adjourns February 24, possibly throwing the selection choice into Governor Tim Kaine's court.


Let me get this straight. Claude Worrell and Jim i-smell-a-bomb-conspiracy Camblos are okay, and Cheryl Higgins is okay. But Bob "law-and-order" Downer's unfit? Something doesn't smell good in Denmark, dude!

A wise legislator would let the gov deal with this one.

They selected Higgins.

Gail-- I'm not sure that would be wise, at least for the candidates themselves. It would be a 1-yr appointment and it's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the GA next year would not re-appoint that person. It's been done before. I'm pretty sure someone like Bob Downer, who's already got a good secure job on the bench, would turn it down if the gov appointed him.

Naomi-- What have you heard?