Former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was nominated to the Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday after the senate failed in the number of votes necessary to approve Appeals Court Judge Rossie Alston. The Washington Post reported:
A Virginia Senate panel on Tuesday nominated former attorney general Ken Cuccinelli II to the Virginia Supreme Court, a move aimed at handing Gov. Terry McAuliffe a particularly bitter defeat in a long-running judicial battle.
McAuliffe (D) narrowly defeated Cuccinelli (R) in the 2013 governor’s race.
Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Stafford) proposed Cuccinelli after the Senate failed to muster the votes needed to elevate Appeals Court Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. to the state Supreme Court.
Republicans have pressed since January to put Alston in the slot, which McAuliffe had twice given to former Fairfax County Circuit Court judge Jane Marum Roush on a temporary basis.
Both times, the Republican-controlled legislature declined to give Roush a full 12-year appointment. Her most recent appointment expired in February, leaving her unemployed and the court shorthanded.
Republicans have a large majority in the House and could easily muster the votes in that chamber to install Alston. But they have been one vote short in the closely divided Senate, where freshman Glen Sturtevant (R-Richmond) has refused to go along with his party’s plan.
The full Senate appears likely to take up Cuccinelli’s nomination Wednesday.
There is more at the Virginian-Pilot. Watch Bearing Drift for more updates as this story develops.