Downer Named Peatross’ Replacement

Judicial nominations were introduced to and passed by the Senate and the House of Delegates today — Judge Bob Downer has been appointed to the 16th judicial district to replace Judge Paul Peatross, effective June 1. Downer was one of the two candidates recommended by the bar, so his appointment comes as no particular surprise.

1:45pm Update: “iknowcville” points out that Downer has simply been reappointed to the same seat in this bill, making everything that I wrote entirely wrong. Or, rather, it may turn out to be correct, but that would just be a lucky coincidence. SR43, which makes the circuit court nominations, is entirely silent on Peatross’ replacement.

01/24 Update: Bob Gibson writes that Downer’s reappointment may well indicate that he’s out of the running for Peatross’ seat. In an interview with Del. Bill Janis it becomes clear that our representatives have no interest in following the bar’s recommendations and see this appointment as political, rather than merit-based, unlike virtually everybody else in the community.

18 thoughts on “Downer Named Peatross’ Replacement”

  1. Not so fast, it looks like he got appointed to the District Court for 6 years, in SB 43 there is no mention of him or the 16th judicial circuit among all of the new judges. Plus Circuit Court Judges get 8 year terms not 6. It may well be Downer, and good for him, he is a great guy but the GA’s site does not yet reflect that

  2. I hate to sound cynical (no, really!), but does anybody actually think this seat is going to anybody other than Camblos?

  3. I sure hope it is…Camblos really is an incompetent boob. At least he’s old enough that retirement won’t be that far down the road.

  4. Let us hope that total incompetence may weigh against even the well politically connected. And if we are wroong and Camblos is appointed, lets be glad that at least he is an old guy. And if Rob Bell plays a roll in appointing this man to be a judge(!) let’s remember to remind the public at every election Bell is ever a candidate in. Ever.

  5. The crazy thing about appointing Camblos would be that not only is there just no support for the guy, but there’s an enormous amount of opposition. That’s not true for any other applicant.

    Sen. Ken Stolle is the guy who ultimately calls the shots on this, since he’s the chair of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. Anybody looking to influence the outcome of this process will, at this point, need to get in touch with his office. They can be e-mailed at, or telephoned at 804-698-7508. I just now called, and a very nice lady listened to what I had to say, wrote it down, and thanked me.

  6. So, here is my issue, that Janis clown was given free reign to fill the last vacancy in the 16 Judicial District and he chose Judge E. Carpenter, who, by all accounts (left, right, center, prosecution, defense-everyone) has been a complete disaster. Ask anyone who has been in his court. If that is an example of Mr. Janis’ judgment than we are all in trouble.

    The only thing I can think is that Bell is hesitant on Camblos or it would be a slam dunk with Janis in JC’s corner. Who will win the arm twisting? Don’t know but one thing is for sure Bell is running for the Attorney General’s Office, if not next cycle than the one after that and I can see a world where he gives in to Janis on this appointment in return for his support down the road. Politics is a smelly business

  7. And Janis would want Camblos to get this why exactly?

    As Bob Gibson wrote in the linked Progress piece:

    Janis, who once worked for Camblos as an assistant Albemarle prosecutor, is seen as a likely Camblos backer.

  8. Actually, Janis was an intern under Camblos. I don’t believe he was ever an assistant Commonwealth’s Atty in Alblemarle (and I’ve just confirmed this at where he says that he worked in that office as a student.) Bell was an intern in Dave Chapman’s office in the City, and thus would worked with both Zug and Worrell for his entire third year of law school.

    Seems to me that an awful lot is being read into a little bit of erroneous and incomplete information.

  9. Don’t you think it interesting that Bell doesn’t want anyone to know what his citizens advisory panel recommended? It seems he may be trying to hide the ball — maybe so that he can name someone completely different and not have to be questioned about it?

  10. One of the TV stations did a report about the judgeship. It said a decision isn’t likely until the end of February (when legislators have to decide by). Dems Creigh Deeds, David Toscano, and Ed Scott say politics will probably pay a part. Some said they’ve heard nothing from Bell (or any Republican for that matter) after his community forum. Scott even admited he would have to do his homework on who these candidates are because he doesn’t know any of them.

  11. Scott even admited he would have to do his homework on who these candidates are because he doesn’t know any of them.

    A politician who actually admitted that he doesn’t know something? How refreshing!

    Still, I have heard nothing to suggest that the seat isn’t Camblos’s to lose. It doesn’t matter what the public wants, it only matters what Bell and Janis want.

  12. Latest word on the street is that Janis and Bell, in some kind of political quid pro quo agreement, will back Camblos. Camblos is apparently considered a fait accompli at this point. I’ve heard that Bell’s panel was against Camblos. Not sure who they were for. They submitted a voluminous report and recommendation to Bell, which reportedly, he doesn’t care to read since it’s not in support of Camblos. Also heard that this is a political “hot potato” right now in Richmond and they’re going to push it forward as quickly and quietly as possible. Pathetic bunch of jackass losers in Richmond. I suspect what Bell received is support for his long-expected run for Attorney General. He needs to be soundly defeated if this all plays out as expected. Imagine appointed someone truly incompetent as Camblos to judge. The Peter Principle at its worst.

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