Tracy Thorne-Begland, the openly gay prosecutor whose judicial nomination was thwarted because of his sexual orientation, may actually still get the job—at least on an interim basis.
More after the jump.
Apparently the judgeship position, which has already been funded by the Virginia House and Senate has yet to be filled. The Richmond Circuit Court still has the authority to decide whether to fill the position. While the court has no obligation to do so, the vacant position is in a busy district so a qualified individual in the role could be beneficial.
Thorne-Begland, with 12-years of experience as a prosecutor and who currently works as Richmond's chief deputy commonwealth's attorney, certainly fits the bill.
Republican Delegate, G. Manoli Loupassi, who supported Thorne-Begland in the House, says "I think he's very qualified to do the job. If you look at his record, it's impeccable. I wish I could lug the other 99 delegates around with me to hear what I hear every day. Any police officer, judge, prosecutor, defense attorney will tell you to a man that he would be excellent."
Thorne-Begland has declined to comment.
He may be hesitant to take the position. He was, after all, the only judicial nominee out of 44 nominees not to be appointed. Also, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch, “While the judgeship normally is a six-year term, any person elected by the judges would serve on an interim basis and be subject to approval by the General Assembly when it reconvenes in January.”
So in effect, Thorne-Begland could be out of a job next year. That said, if he is elected to fill the position and accepts it, legislators may hesitate to remove him from the judgeship, presuming he does good work.
Judicial terms typically start July 1.
What do you think , Instincters? In the event that Thorne-Begland is offered the position, should he take it? Will the Richmond Circuit Court go over the heads of legislators and elect him to the position?