Albemarle Circuit Judge Paul Peatross will be retiring come January 31, Bob Gibson reports in today’s Daily Progress.
But the real story here is his replacement. Much as word of Del. Mitch Van Yahres’ retirement set aspiring politicians’ eyes agleam last year, Peatross’ retirement is have the the same response among well-known lawyers. Gibson writes that Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Camblos, C’ville General District Judge Robert Downer, Daniel Meador, deputy prosecutor Richard Moore, and assistant prosecutor John Zug are all likely to angle for the position.
Judgeships are not elected, but are appointed by the General Assembly. Having sat through some judgeship appointment votes at the Republican-led GA, they basically all sail through, voting for whomever the Courts of Justice committee has supported who, in turn, often supports whomever the local bar association supports. Interestingly for us, both Del. Rob Bell and Del. David Toscano sit on Courts of Justice. Del. Toscano has called for an open and fair process this time but, frankly, that’s just not going to happen under the current leadership in the General Assembly, who’s actually taken to killing bills under secret votes by a half dozen people in the dark of night.
I don’t know about y’all, but I find the prospect of Judge Camblos terrifying. Jim Camblos is not a man known for his good judgment and definitely not known for being on an even keel or, for that matter, simply being nice.
If you support an open, fair selection process and you’re represented by a Republican (Del. Bill Janis, Del. Rob Bell, or Del. Watkins Abbitt), contact your representative and let him know. If there’s anybody you’d like to see as judge — or anybody you really don’t want to see as judge — contact your representative (of whatever political stripe) and let him know, particularly if you’re represented by Del. Bell or Del. Toscano.