Monday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • Gloria Padilla of writes in an opinion blog about the growing concern regarding the qualifications for becoming a judge at the district level in Texas. According to the post, common practices, such as, allowing judges who knew the law well and did a good job to be left alone at re-election time are no longer courtesy. The post also echoed concerns that judicial elections were rapidly becoming more partisan.
  • Fifty years after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision regarding the right of each American citizen to legal counsel, thousands are still going without that in South Carolina, according to the state ACLU, quoted by the Island Packet. The article attributed  this to extreme caseloads, lack of funding, and ambiguous local laws.
  • The Associated Press reports that Judge Andre Davis of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals plans to take senior status after he turns 65 in February. Davis was the first of six judges appointed by President Obama to the Richmond-based Court of Appeals.
  • In a spirit of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate recently confirmed 98-0 Todd Hughes’ nomination to a federal Court of Appeals, according to a favorable Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial. Hughes is gay, and the editorial commended the Senate for fairer treatment of his nomination than the Richmond General Assembly’s recent handling of the nomination of an openly gay prosecutor for a  judgeship (see Gavel Grab).

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