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Roush appointed to high court

Paul Fletcher//July 28, 2015

Roush appointed to high court

Paul Fletcher//July 28, 2015

Judge Jane Marum Roush spoke at a news conference in Richmond July 27, when Gov. Terry McAuliffe (center) announced her selection as Supreme Court of Virginia justice.  Del. David B. Albo, R-Fairfax, attended to show his support for Roush.
Supreme Court of Virginia appointee Jane Marum Roush spoke at a news conference in Richmond on July 27, when Gov. Terry McAuliffe (center) announced her selection. Del. David B. Albo, R-Fairfax, attended to show his support for Roush. (Photo by Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe appointed Fairfax Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush to the Supreme Court of Virginia Monday.

She will succeed Justice LeRoy F. Millette Jr., whose retirement is effective Friday, July 31.

Roush has served on the Fairfax bench since 1993. In recent years the high court frequently has asked her to handle high-profile trials.

She presided over the 2003 prosecution of Beltway Sniper Lee Boyd Malvo. Three years ago, she was the judge on the complex Disthene Group kyanite litigation, with an opinion that changed the way closely held corporations function. She currently is the trial judge on the Severance murder trials in Alexandria, a case that now will be assigned to another judge.

McAuliffe said that the fact that the Supreme Court calls on Roush to handle difficult and complex cases was one of the reasons he selected her for the opening.

“Judges and attorneys around the state know that if you have a difficult, complex, high-profile case, you want Judge Roush holding that gavel,” he said at a press conference in Richmond announcing the appointment.

Roush’s selection caps a six-week process in which McAuliffe and his team sought input from statewide bar groups and legislators.

The Fairfax delegation was especially vocal in their support for Roush. The 13-member Fairfax delegation unanimously recommended Roush to the governor.

Del. David Albo, R-Springfield and chair of the House Courts of Justice committee, was present at the press conference introducing Roush. Albo said that in Fairfax, judicial endorsements are made by the entire delegation, without regard to the political party of the candidate.

To underscore that point, Albo was joined by three Democratic colleagues, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn of Springfield, Del. Kenneth Plum of Reston and Sen. Donald McEachen of Richmond.

The General Assembly will need to confirm the appointment during its 2016 session, but given the bipartisan support for Roush, opposition is unlikely.

Plum recalled interviewing Roush for her circuit seat in the early 1990s. She was a lawyer with the Northern Virginia office of Hogan & Hartson, now Hogan Lovells, at the time. Plum said he was “delighted” to be standing with her now as a Supreme Court justice.

Roush has lectured frequently before bar groups and at judicial training sessions over the years. She presented the Virginia Bar Association’s annual update of civil cases from the Supreme Court for 17 years, giving the last session on July 25; she was the judicial representative on the VBA’s executive committee for three years.

Roush focused on several family members in her remarks.

She thanked her husband of 36 years, David Roush, a retired Fairfax County teacher. The couple has three adult children.

She said that she keeps in her office a picture of her grandmother and great-grandmother when they were workers at a cotton mill in Massachusetts. They probably couldn’t have imagined their granddaughter and great-granddaughter as a lawyer, judge and now justice, she said.

Her father was a career lawyer with the Justice Department, and her mother was a teacher and school principal. Roush said that a lawyer once appeared before her who had gone to her mother’s school.

The lawyer told her that she ran her courtroom with the same “iron-fisted efficiency” that her mother had used to run the carpool line, she noted.

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