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Circuit judges for Norfolk?

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine could appoint three judges to Norfolk Circuit Court as soon as next week.

That’s the word from sources familiar with the maneuvering by the governor’s staff and legislators in Norfolk and
Virginia Beach. The plan calls for the appointment of  Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III, General District Judge Louis A. Sherman and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Judge Jerrauld C. Jones. The court has been operating most of the year with only six of the nine positions authorized for the circuit.

Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, (left) had convinced his Republican colleagues in the House of Delegates to block the appointments until he got a commitment for the appointment of Norfolk City Attorney Leslie L. Lilley to a vacancy on Virginia Beach Circuit Court.

That stance miffed Sen. Yvonne B. Miller, D-Norfolk, who contended that she should have a say in the Virginia Beach appointment because her district includes a piece of the Beach while Stolle had no claim to any of Norfolk.

Sen. Ralph S. Northam, D-Norfolk, broke the logjam by agreeing to support Lilley in the next General Assembly session and bring one other Democrat with him. The sources said Miller is not on board, and the plan would require circumvention of the usual practice of having the party in control of a house decide the judgeship in a party caucus.

By Alan Cooper

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