RICHMOND, VA, August 2, 2015 –– Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City) tonight announced that their respective caucuses will support Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr. for the vacancy on the Virginia Supreme Court.
Upon confirmation, Judge Alston will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice LeRoy F. Millette, Jr.
Judge Alston has served on the Court of Appeals since 2009. He was elected as a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge for Prince William County in 1998 and was elevated to the Circuit Court in 2001. He served as Chief Judge of the Prince William Circuit Court from 2007 until his election to the Virginia Court of Appeals.
The Old Dominion Bar Association rated Judge Alston “highly qualified and recommended” for the Supreme Court. The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association rated him “highly qualified.” He was also endorsed by the Virginia Bar Association and the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys. Although the Virginia State Bar did not endorse candidates for the current vacancy citing time constraints, they unanimously endorsed Judge Alston for the most recent previous Supreme Court vacancy.
“Judge Alston has the experience to be an outstanding addition to the Supreme Court of Virginia,” Speaker Howell noted. “While several great candidates were considered, Judge Alston’s experience on the Court of Appeals and his service as a Chief Judge for the 31st Circuit make him ideally suited for this vacancy.
“Judge Alston has earned widespread support in the House, and it is our intention to elect him when the special session convenes.”
“In their evaluation of the candidates for this vacancy, the four bar associations that issued recommendations all endorsed Judge Alston,” remarked Senator Norment. “That the Old Dominion Bar Association took the extra step of rating him ‘highly qualified and recommended’ is evidence of the respect he has earned in his 17 years on the bench.
“The Constitution of Virginia vests the authority to elect judges with the General Assembly. Although Governor McAuliffe has designated a different candidate, who is also highly qualified, a consensus has developed among the members of the Senate Republican Caucus that Judge Alston should fill this vacancy. As a result, I expect Judge Alston will be elected to the Virginia Supreme Court during the special session.”
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