Lack of transparency in Judicial Selection


It is a normally accepted premise that Judges deserve to be any their position because of their intellect and fairness. The myth is that they are placed on the bench on their own merit. In reality, anyone who has dealt with the justice system in Loudoun realizes this is not reflective of actuality.

The new candidate for the 20th Circuit has been selected with very little or no public input. The selection process is completely controlled by the local bar association. Future judges are selected by lawyers who will eventually argue cases in front of the same judge that was endorsed by that specific lawyer. It is inevitable that a conflict of interest will arise. More than likely, and I have seen it, the judge will reward the favor to the attorney who helped place him or her on the bench.

After the candidate or candidates are selected by the local bar, the candidates are then forwarded to the 20th Circuit legislators. The legislators will approve a candidate and then that candidate is forwarded to the Courts of Justice in Richmond for a final vote. This process has very little input from the public. If a citizen is so inclined, he or she can drive to Richmond to provide comments about the candidate. This places a burden on the citizen to travel to Richmond.

It is apparent that a very unqualified attorney can become a Judge. In this writer’s humble opinion, the residents of the 20th circuit are fortunate that Lorrie Sinclair did not get the nomination.




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