Bar associations ask legislature to fill judicial posts
Nine statewide bar associations are asking the Virginia General Assembly to fund and fill all judgeships in the commonwealth.
Despite a growth in populations since 2010, the number of funded judgeships in Virginia has fallen from 402 to 386, according to the Virginia Bar Association (VBA).
That year state legislators stopped filling every vacant judgeship unless the positions were specifically funded. Only 32 of 49 anticipated vacancies have been funded in 2013.
The VBA says failure to fill judicial vacancies will result in cases taking longer to be decided, delaying justice.
“It is critical that we fund and fill all existing and anticipated judicial vacancies,” Thomas R. Bagby, the VBA’s president, said in a statement. “We must guarantee that Virginia’s judiciary remains among the very best in the Nation.”
The VBA notes that Virginia courts generated about $661 million in revenue in 2012. The Commonwealth spent only $381 million that year in operating the court system, less than 1 percent of the Commonwealth’s annual budget.
A resolution signed by the statewide bar associations supports of full funding and filling of judicial vacancies.
In addition to the VBA, it was signed by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Virginia Inc.,Virginia Creditors Bar Association,Hispanic Bar Association of Virginia, Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Old Dominion Bar Association, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys,Virginia Trial Lawyers Association,Virginia Women Attorneys Association.