A week after airing differences over the way Virginia picks its judges, two legislators are back with their rebuttal arguments in Sunday’s Roanoke Times.
Dels. Ben Cline, R-Lexington, and Creigh Deeds, D-Hot Springs, clash over whether a bi-partisan commission should be involved in screening candidates for the bench. Currently, judges are elected by the General Assembly in a process largely outside the public view and often infused with politics and cronyism.
Cline said legislators nonetheless “take great care to evaluate all relevant factors when nominating a candidate.”
“Formalizing that role … would only add bureaucracy to the selection process,” Cline argued.
Deeds called for commissions of lawyers and lay members to vet candidates, with an expanded role for state and local bar associations. The current process, he said, “is fraught with smoky-room politics.”