Nominating a person to be elected as a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia. (HR242)

Introduced By

Del. Manoli Loupassi (R-Richmond)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate

Description

Nominating a person to be elected as a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Status

03/10/2016: Passed the House

History

DateAction
03/10/2016VOTE: ADOPTION (66-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/10/2016Presented 16106250D
03/10/2016Taken up for immediate consideration
03/10/2016Engrossed by House
03/10/2016Agreed to by House by voice vote
03/10/2016Election by House (66-Y 0-N)
03/10/2016VOTE: ELECTION (66-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/10/2016Bill text as passed House (HR242ER)

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 19 minutes.

Transcript

This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.



Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Arlington): VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT WITHOUT FIRST APPLYING FOR THE JOB. WITHOUT SUBMITTING TO AN INTERVIEW AND HEARING BEFORE THE SENATE COURTS COMMITTEE. WITHOUT SUBMITTING TO AN INTERVIEW BEFORE OUR COURTS COMMITTEE THAT WAS MORE THAN A HASTILY ARRANGED INTERVIEW AND WITHOUT PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY, WITHOUT UNDERGOING ANY VETTING AT ALL BY THE NUMEROUS STATEWIDE BAR COMMITTEES. IN SHORT, NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN ELECTED TO THE VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT WITHOUT AN OPEN AND PUBLIC PROCESS. NOW, I UNDERSTAND, WE UNDERSTAND, EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS, THAT THIS IS THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S CALL, WE GET TO APPOINT SUPREME COURT JUSTICES BUT THIS BODY HAS NEVER TAKEN THE POSITION THAT WE CAN, AND SHOULD DO IT ON OUR OWN, THAT WE SHOULD PICK A NOMINEE OUT OF THIN AIR. IN THIS CASE, JUDGE McCULLOUGH ACKNOWLEDGED THE FIRST TIME HE HAD AN INKLING HE HAD A CONSIDERATION FOR THE NOMINATION WAS JUST A COUPLE DAYS AGO. THIS IS A PROCESS PROBLEM. LET'S COMPARE HOW WE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE NOW, WITH THE PROCESS AND HOW THAT WORKED IN THE IMMEDIATE TIME FRAME AFTER JUSTICE MELLET ANNOUNCED HIS RETIREMENT, LAST MAY, THE GOVERNOR ANNOUNCED THIS OPENING. HE ASKED FOR INPUT IMMEDIATELY FROM THE STATEWIDE BAR ASSOCIATIONS. OVER THE NEXT TWO MONTHS, DOZENS OF LAWYERS, DOZENS OF LAWYERS FROM FOUR STATEWIDE BAR ASSOCIATIONS MET WITH EACH OF THE 12 APPLICANTS FOR LENGTHY AND IN DEPTH INTERVIEWS AND THOSE GROUPS MADE THEIR NOMINATIONS PUBLIC. THE GOVERNOR TOOK ALL OF THE PUBLIC INPUT HE COULD, HE RECEIVED A BIPARTISAN LETTER SIGNED BY OUR COURTS CHAIRMAN AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE FAIRFAX DELEGATION WHEN GAVE AN ENDORSEMENT TO THE THEN-JUDGE ROUSCH. THEN, THERE WERE MORE INTERVIEWS BY THE GOVERNOR'S CABINET AND THE GOVERNOR HIMSELF. THE NOMINEE HERSELF MADE LOTS OF CALLS.

[Unknown]: MAY I INTERRUPT THE GENTLEMAN JUST A MOMENT? DOES THIS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE MOTION BEFORE US ON THE NOMINATION OF -- IT DOES, MR. SPEAKER, YES, IT DOES. GIVEN US A LOT OF PAST HISTORY. I DON'T SEE HOW IT RELATES TO NOMINATION. I'LL GET TO CURRENT HISTORY. SPEAKING TO THE NOMINATION. WE'RE SET TO ADJOURN IN A COUPLE DAYS, YOU KNOW? FAIR ENOUGH. THE NOMINEE SENT OUT CALLING MOST OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY LEADERSHIP. PROCESS FOR CHOOSING THAT NOMINEE LASTED FOR MONTHS. NOW, IS THIS NOMINEE QUALIFIED? CURRENT NOMINEE HAD A DISTINGUISHED CAREER AND IS SURELY QUALIFIED BUT HAS NOT BEEN SUBJECTED TO THE PROCESS THAT EVERY SUPREME COURT JUSTICE IN THE PAST HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO AND EVERY SUPREME COURT JUSTICE IN THE FUTURE SHOULD BE SUBJECTED TO. AND WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO JUDGE McCULLOUGH, AND I AM NOT SUGGESTING IT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH HIM, THE WAY WE GOT HERE TODAY INCLUDING AND DURING THAT CIRCUS OF THE LAST COUPLE DAYS INVOLVING OUR FORMER ATTORNEY, THE WAY WE GOT HERE TODAY SPEAKS VOLUMES, MEMBERS OF THE BODY AND FOR ALL TO SEE HOW THIS PROCESS DEVOLVEKED INTO A PURELY POLITICAL ONE. IT BECAME ABOUT ELECTED ANYONE ELSE, ANYONE OTHER THAN THE PERSON THAT THE GOVERNOR HAD NOMINATED. AT ALL COSTS. AND AT THE COST OF THE PROCESS THIS, IS NO WAY TO PICK A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, OUR GENERAL ASSEMBLY, COMMONWEALTH AND COURT ARE DIMINISHED AS A RESULT, THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): GENTLEMAN FROM SALEM, MR. HABEEB.

Del. Greg Habeeb (R-Salem): MR. SPEAKER, SPEAKING TO THE NOMINATION.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): GENTLEMAN HAS THE FLOOR.

Del. Greg Habeeb (R-Salem): MR. SPEAKER, MEMBERS OF THE BODY, I THINK ALL OF US AGREE THINGS WE DO OWE IN RICHMOND. THERE ARE DIFFERENT, IMPORTANT I HAVE SAID AND HEARD MEMBERS OF BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE SAY PROBABLY THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT THINGS WE DO ARE PASS A BUDGET AND ELECT JUDGES. JUDGES ARE THE LEVEL OF WHICH MORE CITIZENS INTERACT WITH OUR GOVERNMENT THAN ANY OTHER LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT. JUDGES MAKE OPINIONS AND DELIVER ORDERS AND MR. SPEAKER WE HAVE A FLAWED, IMPERFECT PROCESS, IF ANYONE OBSERVES HOW OTHER STATES ELECT JUDGES OURS IS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD. EVERY STATE SOMEONE COMPLAINS ABOUT THE WAY THEY DO IT. EVERY STATE WANTS TO ADD POLITICS OR TAKE THEM AWAY SO AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHATEVER YOU WANT THE SYSTEM TO BE WE HAVE A SYSTEM THAT HAS GIVEN US THE BEST JUDICIARY IN THE COUNTRY. WHILE THE PROCESS IS OFTEN TIMES, FLAWED I'M THE FIRST TO ADMIT THAT THIS PROCESS HAS BEEN MORE FRUSTRATING THAN ANY AND HAS BECOME MORE DIVIDED AND MAYBE GOTTEN AWAY FROM THE TRUE QUESTIONS THAT THIS BODY IS POSED TO ASK. MR. SPEAKER, I VOTED FOR FORMER JUSTICE ROUSCH WHEN SHE CAME BEFORE THIS BODY, I WAS ENCOURAGED BY HER NOMINATION AND JUST HAPPENED TO SUPPORT HER, BUT OVER MY VOTE, THIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY WAS UNABLE TO ELECT HER. THAT NOMINATION FAILED. AND WHILE I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE SEEN HER GOT ELECTED, SHE DIDN'T. THIS BODY ADVANCED ANOTHER EXTREMELY QUALIFIED CANDIDATE FOR THAT JUDGESHIP. AGAIN, I SUPPORTED JUDGE ALSTON. HE WAS A FANTASTIC ALTERNATIVE, THEN, OVER MY OBJECTIONS THAT NOMINATION FAILED. SO MR. SPEAKER, IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW IT GOT HERE TODAY. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO IS TO BLAME. THERE IS A LOT OF BLAME TO GO AROUND BUT TODAY ISN'T THE DAY FOR BLAME. TODAY IS THE DAY FOR US TO DO OUR JOB. WE HAVE A JOB TO DO, AND TODAY IS THAT DAY. MR. SPEAKER, YESTERDAY, FINALLY, FINALLY, BOTH SIDES OF THIS BODY, BOTH BODIES IN THIS BUILDING SAT DOWN AND BEGAN DOING OUR JOB THE WAY WE'RE SUPPOSED TO DO IT. YESTERDAY, WE INTERVIEWED A JUDGE WHO IS NOT UNKNOWN TO US AND HE IS NOT UNKNOWN TO THE STATEWIDE BAR ASSOCIATION, MR. SPEAKER. WE INTERVIEWED JUDGE STEVE McCULLOUGH AND I HAVE TO TELL YOU, MR. SPEAKER, ANYBODY WHO SAYS THAT MEETING YESTERDAY WAS RUSHED AND PUT TOGETHER AND NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF WHAT THIS BODY CAN DO WASN'T PAYING ATTENTION, MR. SPEAKER. IT WAS RESPECTFUL, SUBSTANTIVE, BIPARTISAN, THOROUGH. MULTIPLE MEMBERS OF BOTH SIDES OF THE BODY ASKED REAL QUESTIONS, AND GOT REAL ANSWERS, AND I HAVE GOT TO TELL YOU, MR. SPEAKER IT WAS AN HONOR TO BE A PART OF THAT MEETING YESTERDAY BECAUSE I SAW US DOING OUR JOB. MR. SPEAKER, JUDGE McCULLOUGH SHOWED HIMSELF TO BE AN EXTRAORDINARY CANDIDATE. HIS RESUME, HE SERVED THE COMMONWEALTH OVER 19 YEARS, ON THE COURT OF APPEALS ABOUT FIVE YEARS NOW, HE WAS A CLERK ON THE SUPREME COURT FOR NOW DECEASED FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE LEROY AND HE HAS BEEN ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL AND YESTERDAY, AFTER THAT SUBSTANTIVE, THOUGHTFUL PROCESS HE WAS BROUGHT. I WAS ENCOURAGED TO HEAR THE MINORITY LEADER SAY THIS IS A QUOTE, GOOD MAN. THIS IS A HUMBLE MAN. ANYONE WHO HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT STEVEN McCULLOUGH AND DIDN'T PARTICIPATE IN THAT MEETING YESTERDAY AND DIDN'T ASK THOSE QUESTIONS AS HOST THE OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT TODAY, MR. SPEAKER. SO, MR. SPEAKER, HERE IS WHERE WE ARE. LIKE IT OR NOT THIS IS WHERE WE ARE. WE HAVE AN OPENING ON THE SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIA. WE KNOW HOW WE GOT HERE AND WHAT THE GOVERNOR DID, WE KNOW EVERY STEP OF THE WAY ALONG TOWARDS THAT TODAY. IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW WE GOT THERE. I TELL MY KIDS EVERY DAY. I DON'T KNOW CARE WHY IT HAPPENED. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? WE HAVE AN OPENING AND WE HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATION TO DO A JOB. WE DON'T ADVICE ON JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS. WE DON'T CONSENT TO WHAT THE EXECUTIVE DOES. WE ELECT JUDGES. WE HAVE A HIGHLY RESPECTED SITTING COURT OF APPEALS JUDGE WHO HAS BEEN UNANIMOUSLY CERTIFIED. LET ME CLEAR THE RECORD UP. THIS IS NOT AN UNVETED CANDIDATE. THIS GENTLEMAN WENT BEFORE EVERY STATEWIDE BAR ASSOCIATION IN 2011 AND AS A RESULT, WE, WE BOTH SIDES OF THIS BODY, BOTH BODIES OF THIS BUILDING ELECTED HIM TO THE COURT OF APPEALS IN 2014. HE PUT HIS NAME IN FOR THIS SEAT. FOR THE SUPREME COURT. AND AGAIN, HE WAS VETTED BY EVERY STATEWIDE BAR ASSOCIATION THAT WAS OUT THERE. SO, MR. SPEAKER, TO PRETEND LIKE THIS IS AN UNKNOWN JUDGE, UNVETED, UNKNOWN TO US AND JUST SHOWED UP IS MISLEADING AND BELOW THE WORK THAT THIS BODY DID YESTERDAY IN INTERVIEWING THIS JOB. TODAY IS A DAY FOR US TO DO OUR JOB. TODAY, MR. SPEAKER, IS MORE THAN ABOUT JUDGE McCULLOUGH. AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE'RE VOTING ON JUDGE McCULLOUGH BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS VOTE IS ABOUT. THIS IS VOTE ABOUT THIS INSTITUTION AND WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN DO OUR MOST FUNDAMENTAL JOB TO ELECT JUDGES. SO, MR. SPEAKER, ANY MEMBER OF THIS BODY WHO SITS AND CHOOSES NOT TO CAST A VOTE FOR A JUDGE EVERYBODY KNOWS IS QUALIFIED, FULLY VETTED, HONORABLY SERVED FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS AND SAT ON THE BOARD BENCH, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO DO YOUR JOB, I'M SURE SOMEBODY ELSE WOULD BE HAPPY TO DO IT FOR YOU, MR. SPEAKER, I HOPE TODAY, PUTTING BEHIND ALL THAT WE'VE BEEN THROUGH, ALL THE DRAMA, THE MESSINESS, IT IS A DAY FOR DEALING WITH WHERE WE ARE. WITH THAT, SAID, MR. SPEAKER, I THOROUGHLY ENDORSE AND HOPE EVERYBODY HERE WILL SUPPORT THE NOMINATION FOR JUDGE STEVEN McCULLOUGH.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): GENTLEMAN FROM CHARLOTTESVILLE, M TOSCANO. YOU DON'T HAVE TO IF YOU DON'T WANT TO.

[Unknown]: THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. SPEAKING TO THE NOMINATION. MR. SPEAKER, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE BODY, THIS HAS BEEN A FLAWED PROCESS FROM BEGINNING TO END. GENTLEMAN FROM SALEM AND I AGREE ON THAT. AND THE GENTLEMAN FROM SALEM AND I AGREE ON HOW APPROPRIATE THE HEARING WAS FOR JUDGE McCULLOUGH. THE FLAWED PROCESS, SOME LIES WITH THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HALL. SOME LIES WITH US. AND THERE IS NO GOOD REASON OTHER THAN SOMEBODY DIDN'T GET A PHONE CALL, AND OF COURSE, THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF DRAMA OVER THERE ON THE OTHER SIDE, NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH WAS THIS PARTISAN POLITICS PROCESS BEING ELEVATED TO THE THEATER OF THE ABSURD WHEN SOMEONE FINDS QUALIFIED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL KEN CUCCINELLI WHO WASN'T CONSULTED BEFORE THEY VOTED THERE. NOW, THAT IS ABSURD. I HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE PROCESS OF RULES, I AM NOT GOING TO RAISE ANY POINTS OF ORDER TODAY, BECAUSE I KNOW YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT. BUT I WANT TO POINT YOU FOR A COUPLE MORE THINGS THIS THINK ABOUT. FIRST, TAKE A LOOK AT THAT RESOLUTION. ALMOST EVERY RESOLUTION WE HAVE PASSED HERE RELATED TO JUDGES TALKS ABOUT NOMINATIONS FOR THE COURT. AND IN FACT, IF YOU LOOK AT THE RESOLUTION INVOLVING JANE ROUSH IT TALKED ABOUT NOMINATIONS TO THE COURT. THIS RESOLUTION SAYS A RESOLUTION. A. I WOULD SUBMIT TO YOU THAT THAT NOMINATION ALREADY OCCURRED WHEN JUDGE ALSTON CAME BEFORE US. THAT WAS THE NOMINATION. A SINGLE NOMINATION. NOW, BEYOND THAT, REMEMBER, WE HAVE HAD A LOT OF BACK AND FORTH WHETHER THIS RESOLUTION IS A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT RESOLUTION. IT IS NOT. SO LET'S LOOK AT THE RULES. HOUSE RULE ONE. HOUSE RULE ONE SAYS, AND I QUOTE, NO NOMINEE SHALL BE OFFERED TO THE HOUSE UNRES THAT NOMINEE HAS BEEN INTERVIEWED BY THE HOUSE COURTS OF JUSTICE AND SUBSEQUENTLY CERTIFIED AS QUALIFIED FOR ELECTION. ANSWER, YES. CHECK OFF BOX 1. NEXT. WHEN MORE THAN ONE NOMINEE IS OFFERED FOR ANY JUDGESHIP, A MEMBER CAN THEN CAST A VOTE FOR ONLY ONE NOMINEE. THIS IS THE RESOLUTION, MY FRIENDS. YOU HAVE ALREADY CAST YOUR VOTE FOR ONE NOMINEE. THAT IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY PEOPLE OVER HERE WILL NOT BE CAST IN A VOTE. UNDER THE RULES WE CAN'T CAST A VOTE. MR. SPEAKER, A NUMBER OF US HAVE STRUGGLED WITH THIS OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS. IF IT IS EVEN BEEN 24 HOURS, AND THE REASON WE'VE STRUGGLED WITH THIS IS WE WANT THIS SPECTACLE TO GO AWAY. WE CARE ABOUT THE INTEGRITY OF THIS INSTITUTION AND WE CARE ABOUT HAVING A NEW JUSTICE ON THE SUPREME COURT. WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON THAT SINCE LAST YEAR. AND WE CARE ABOUT THE VIRGINIA WAY AND TRYING TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO RESTORE IT. BUT, MR. SPEAKER, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE, THIS IS A TERRIBLE PROCESS, AND JUST TO SAY THAT WITH THIS VOTE TODAY, WE DO OUR JOB, IS NOT BEING FAIR TO THAT PROCESS. OUR JOB IS NOT JUST ABOUT ONE VOTE. OUR JOB IS ABOUT A PROCESS. OUR JOB IS NOT JUST ABOUT THAT RESPONSIBILITY TO CAST THAT VOTE. IT IS A VOTE AFTER A FAIR AND OPEN PROCESS. AND MORE THAN JUST A 15-MINUTE INTERVIEW BEFORE HOUSE COURTS OF IT IS A VOTE ABOUT A PROCESS JUSTICE. WHERE THE PUBLIC HAS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS TO LOOK AT A CANDIDATE'S CONTRIBUTIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS. IT IS A VOTE AFTER THE BAR HAS LOOKED AT THIS PERSON, VETTED THIS PERSON, FOR THIS JOB. NOT FOR THE COURT OF APPEALS, NOT FOR THE GENERAL DISTRICT COURT, FOR THIS JOB. IT IS TRUE, THAT JUDGE CCOLLA WAS VETTED. SO JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE SAYS WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO CAST A VOTE TODAY, DOES NOT MAKE IT SO. WE HAD A CHANCE. WE VOTED FOR JUSTICE ROUSCH. I EXERCISE MY CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY A COUPLE WEEKS AGO. WHEN WE VOTED FOR JUSTICE ROUSH. I DID MY CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY. I DID MY JOB. DON'T ANYONE SAY WE HAVEN'T DONE OUR JOB WHEN WE CAST THAT VOTE. YOU SEE ANY RED LIGHTS GO UP ON THAT BOARD FOR HIM? UNLIKE WHAT HAPPENED HERE A WEEK AGO. THAT IS NOT WHAT WE DO IN THIS BODY. BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE WILL PUT UP GREEN LIGHTS BECAUSE IN OUR VIEW, THAT IS NOT AN EXERCISE OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY, THAT IS THE VIOLATION OF THE RULES. THAT IS WHY I'M IN THE GOING TO VOTE FOR JUDGE McCULLOUGH. THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): AS MANY FAVOR ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION WILL SAY AYE. OPPOSED, NO. RESOLUTION IS AGREED TO. GENTLEMAN FROM RICHMOND CITY, MR. LOUPASSI, YOU WILL INFORM THE NOMINATION OF THE SENATE MADE BY THE HOUSE. THE HOUSE WILL BE AT EASE.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SR42, HR188, SR65 and HR213.