Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) issued the following statement Tuesday on Governor McAuliffe’s decision to re-appoint Justice Jane Roush to the Virginia Supreme Court while the General Assembly remains in session.
“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.”