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Lawmakers ask bar groups to evaluate Supreme Court candidates

Nine statewide bar groups have been asked by the chairs of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Courts of Justice Committee to evaluate candidates for a pending Supreme Court of Virginia vacancy.

In an Aug. 31 letter, Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke and Del. Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, asked the bar groups to review and vet applicants to replace Judge William C. Mims, who announced he will leave the high court once his term ends on March 31, 2022.

Interested applicants should file their applications with the bar groups by Sept. 30. A list of the nine statewide bars evaluating judicial candidates is available online.

In the letter to the bar groups, Edwards and Herring requested recommendations by Dec. 1. The judge selected would start serving on the Supreme Court of Virginia on April 1, one day after Mims’ term ends.

The latest judicial vacancy comes on the heels of a near-unprecedented round of vacancies filled in the Virginia Court of Appeals earlier this summer. Edwards and Herring thanked the bar groups for their “extraordinary efforts in reviewing and vetting the large number of candidates” for the court. Eight new judges were elected to the court after the General Assembly elected to expand the Court of Appeals from 11 to 17 judges.