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Virginia Supreme Court Justice reappointed; GOP says McAuliffe doesn’t have authority

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RICHMOND, VA — As expected, Governor Terry McAuliffe has informed Virginia’s General Assembly that Justice Jane Roush will be reappointed when her term expires later this week.

For weeks the Governor and Republican leaders at the General Assembly have been at an impasse over the subject with Republican delegates in the House believing they are still in session.

GOP leaders said they stayed in session so that McAuliffe would not have the power to re-appoint her.

“Republican leaders assert that the General Assembly remains in session. I have considered their views, but have respectfully concluded that the General Assembly is not in session,” McAuliffe said in a news release.

McAuliffe will  reappoint Roush September 16.

House Speaker William Howell and Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment issued the following statement:

“The Governor’s decision to exercise his interim appointment authority is a direct violation of the plain language of the Constitution of Virginia. Several cases from other states and multiple official opinions from state attorneys general lead to the same conclusion: the General Assembly remains in session and, therefore, the Governor lacks the authority to make interim appointments to the Supreme Court. ”

“The Governor’s insistence on exercising his appointment powers in a manner exceeding his constitutional authority places the Supreme Court of Virginia in an untenable position.  Additionally, it calls into question any decisions the Court may issue between now and when a new justice is lawfully elected by the General Assembly.”

McAuliffe reiterated his support for Roush and his belief in her qualifications for the job.

“Justice Roush remains one of the most highly qualified and respected jurists in Virginia, having served on the Fairfax Circuit Court for 22 years.  Her candidacy was originally brought to my attention by the Republican Chairman of the House Committee for Courts of Justice, Delegate David Albo.”