Lithwick Hits ‘Supreme Tantrum’ Over Virginia Judicial Appointment

Seal_of_Virginia.svgAnalyst Dahlia Lithwick minces no words in slamming Virginia Republican legislators for their expected effort soon to remove a respected woman justice on the state Supreme Court, a recess appointee of the Democratic governor, in a purely partisan political tussle.

At Slate, Lithwick writes that removing Justice Jane Marum Roush “would … strike an irreparable blow to judicial independence and reinforce the idea that the good old boys of the commonwealth are beyond clueless when it comes to appearances, public office, and gender.”

“It is beyond deranged to allow the legislature to elect state Supreme Court justices,” Lithwick continues. She then seizes on the fact that only 17 percent of the General Assembly’s members are women. “And this current situation is exactly the kind of smoke-filled backroom, tit-for-tat politicking that keeps women from putting their names forward for such seats and keeps them from being supported and protected in male-dominated legislatures.”

Her commentary is headlined “Supreme Tantrum.” Meanwhile, Gov. Terry McAuliffe asked Republicans not to boot Roush. “Allowing politics to deny this qualified and distinguished jurist a full 12-year term would send a dangerous message about this commonwealth’s respect for the independence of the judicial branch,” he said, according to The Washington Post and Richmond.com.