RICHMOND, VA – The Virginia House of Delegates Courts of Justice Committee will interview Justice Jane Roush and Court of Appeals Judge Rossie Alston on Wednesday, and the House of Delegates intends to hold an election to fill the Supreme Court vacancy on Thursday, Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) announced today. The House of Delegates adopted HJ 210, setting a special and continuing order to begin Thursday at the conclusion of the morning hour. That resolution is pending adoption by the Senate. Speaker Howell released the following statement:
“The Constitution conveys upon the General Assembly not just the responsibility to elect Justices of the Supreme Court, but the obligation. In our system of government, each branch of government is interdependent on the others. It is the legislature’s duty to fill the current vacancy on the Court.
“Since last August, the House has maintained that Judge Alston is the most qualified choice for the current vacancy. He is a widely respected and experienced Court of Appeals Judge who earned the endorsement of every major bar association in the Commonwealth. The House has also been clear in recent weeks that Justice Roush disqualified herself from service on the Court by taking overtly political actions last fall and accepting an unconstitutional appointment from the Governor.
“The best way to facilitate an end to the current impasse is to give both candidates a vote on the floor. Chairman Albo and the House Courts Committee will interview both Justice Roush and Judge Alston on Wednesday. Following those interviews, the House of Delegates is planning to hold an election on Thursday to fill the vacancy. This will give legislators the opportunity to consider both candidates on their merits.”