Markell Calls Senate in Session for Judicial Appointments.

Filed in Delaware by on November 28, 2012

Governor Jack Markell has called the Senate into a special session that will begin on December 5, next Wednesday. This special session will deal exclusively with the consideration of several of his judicial appointments.

Markell has nominated CCP Judge Eric Davis and Chief Deputy AG Charles Butler to be judges on the Superior Court. He has nominated Sussex Couty Chief Prosecutor Paula Ryan, Public Defender Dawn Williams and Deputy Attorney General James Maxwell to the judges and commissioners on the Family Court. He has also renominated Judge Lynne Parker to continue as Superior Court Commissioner, Vice Chancellor John Noble to continue on the Chancery Court.

I wish the President could do this, force the Senate to take up his nominations to the Judiciary. Interestingly, this will not be a lame duck session of the last Senate. Rather, this will be the first session of each chamber in the new General Assembly that was just elected. Thus, Senators Bryan Townsend and Nicole Poore will get to vote. How exciting.

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  1. John Young says:

    they are elected so I am glad they will vote. But personally, I voted for Bryan because he convinced me the rubber stamp will be left at the door. Much more important than the vote, to me, is asking thoughtful responsible questions. As an attorney, I am looking forward to Bryan’s first shot to do something most senators in DE don’t do, challenge the nominees’ fitness by engaging them in questions germane to the position they are nominated for, rather than just voting the party line. Deluca would likely have wielded a large rubber stamp. Take note of the embarrassing lack of critical questions of our Secretary of Education. This election was about a full repudiation of that style of governance.

    This process is in our constitution for a reason:

    Article III

    § 9. Appointing power; recess appointments; confirmation.

    Section 9. He or she shall have power, unless herein otherwise provided, to appoint, by and with the consent of a majority of all the members elected to the Senate, such officers as he or she is or may be authorized by this Constitution or by law to appoint. He or she shall have power to fill all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, in offices to which he or she may appoint, except in the offices of Chancellor, Chief Justice and Judges, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session of the Senate.

    He or she shall have power to fill all vacancies that may happen in elective offices, except in the offices of Lieutenant-Governor and members of the General Assembly, by granting Commissions which shall expire when their successors shall be duly qualified.

    In case of vacancy in an elective office, except as aforesaid, a person shall be chosen to said office for the full term at the next general election, unless the vacancy shall happen within two months next before such election, in which case the election for said office shall be held at the second succeeding general election.

    Unless herein otherwise provided, confirmation by the Senate of officers appointed by the Governor shall be required only where the salary, fees and emoluments of office shall exceed the sum of fifteen hundred dollars annually.

    Let’s see how our newly elected rise to the challenge of effective checks and balances, particularly with a Governor who cannot win re-election.