The Virginia General Assembly has just elected Appeals Court Judge Teresa Chafin to the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Judge Chafin is a woman and Republicans say it continues their long track record of elevating women to judgeships across the commonwealth, including four to the Supreme Court, but some Democrats are crying foul.
“Judge Chafin’s brother Ben is a member of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee and attended her interview.”
But University of Richmond Law Professor Carl Tobias says Chafin served as a general district judge and a circuit court judge and on the court of appeals all of which preceded her brother’s election in 2013.
“And she is from Southwest Virginia as was Justice McClanahan, the justice whom she would replace.”
Still Democrats remember when Republicans said they opposed giving judicial appointments to family members of sitting legislators.
Democrat Senator Philip Pucket resigned, his daughter got a juvenile judgeship, and Ben Chafin won the special election to fill his seat. It flipped the Senate to majority Republican.