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Mims to get Supreme Court seat

William C. Mims will become only the second person to serve as a Virginia legislator, an attorney general and a member of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Any doubts that he will replace Justice Barbara M. Keenan, who was confirmed last week as a judge of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, disappeared this afternoon when House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong of Martinsville introduced him to a joint meeting of the Senate and House Courts of Justice Committees.

Each committee must certify a candidate for a judgeship before that candidate can be considered by their respective bodies. Mims was the only person interviewed for the position.

Armstrong noted that he and Mims were part of a class of 21 delegates who entered the legislature in 1992.

‘He was always a gentleman, he was always fair, he was always respectful of the process,” Armstrong said of Mims as a legislator.

Mims, 52, was named chief deputy attorney general in 2006 after serving 14 years in the legislature and became attorney general last year after Robert F. McDonnell stepped down as AG to run successfully for governor.

He became a lobbyist for Hunton & Williams in January but is expected to be elected to the Supreme Court before the legislature’s scheduled adjournment on Saturday.

The only other person to be legislator, AG and Supreme Court justice was Albertis S. Harrison, who had the added distinction of being elected attorney general and also serving as governor.

Virginia Lawyers Weekly subscribers can read the rest of the story here.
By Alan Cooper


  1. Not to make too fine a point of it, but can the General Assembly elect Mims to fill Keenan’s seat before she official resigns from the Court? Although she has been confirmed by the US Senate, the President must still issue her commission and then she has to official submit her letter stating her intent to resign or retire effective on a given date. Neither of these things has occurred yet.

  2. President Obama signed Justice Keenan’s commission on Tuesday, March 9, and she is scheduled to be sworn in today, March 10, according to the office of the 4th Circuit executive.

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