Governor Hogan will be picking from 14 candidates to fill the at-large seat on the Court of Special Appeals vacated by the recent retirement of Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser. The nominations were announced last week and were chosen from an impressive list of lawyers and judges who applied in April. Eight of the candidates were automatically advanced because they had been previously recommended for the Court by the Judicial Appellate Nominating Commission. Five of the nominees are sitting circuit court judges.
The Office of Governor Larry Hogan today issued the following press release:
Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of Judge Patrick L. Woodward as Chief Judge to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. Judge Woodward has served as a judge on the Court since 2005. The appointment is effective May 6, 2017.
“I am confident that Judge Woodward is the most qualified individual to fill the chief judge vacancy on the Court of Special Appeals,” said Governor Hogan. “Judge Woodward has an exceptional and extensive judicial background, and has exhibited integrity and a strong commitment to justice. I offer him my sincere congratulations and best wishes.”
“I am truly honored by the trust and confidence that the Governor has placed in me,” said Judge Woodward. “I will do everything in my power to discharge my new duties faithfully, diligently, and competently.”
Judge Patrick L. Woodward is currently a judge for the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland where he has served since 2005, when he was appointed by Governor Robert Ehrlich. Prior to his appointment, Judge Woodward served as a judge for both the Circuit and District Courts of Montgomery County. Before serving as a judge, he was a sole practitioner and principal for Jackson & Campbell, P.C. Judge Woodward received his Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law.
Twenty-seven applicants applied for an at-large seat on the Court of Special Appeals, according to the list made public on Thursday. The seat will become vacant upon the mandatory retirement of Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser, who turns 70 years young on May 5. Eight of the applicants are being considered automatically because the Judicial Appellate Nominating Commission had previously recommended them for the Court.
See the full list of applicants below.
Governor Larry Hogan today announced three appointments to the Maryland appellate courts. The governor’s Chief Legislative Officer, Joseph Getty, will fill the vacant high court seat reserved for residents of the third appellate district (Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, and Washington counties). Getty is 64 years old. Unless the mandatory retirement age is increased from 70, the seat will become vacant in another six years. Don’t expect the sort of fireworks from the last time a governor appointed his CLO to the Court of Appeals. Read More…
A little more than a month after nine applied for Judge Battaglia’s seat on the Court of Appeals, the pool has been whittled to five nominations. Unsurprisingly, the only sitting Court of Special Appeals judge, the Hon. Kathryn Grill Graeff, got a golden ticket, as did the Hon. Donald E. Beachley of the Washington County Circuit Court, a former magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Two private practitioners are in the mix as well: Thomas Edward Lynch, III, a principal at Miles & Stockbridge, and Andrew David Levy, a partner at Brown Goldstein Levy and co-author of Appellate Practice for the Maryland Lawyer.
There’s been a lot of activity this week in the process of filling Maryland’s appellate vacancies — first, nine applications were received for the soon-to-be-open Court of Appeals spot, and, yesterday, the Judicial Nominating Commission sent three names to the governor to be considered for the Court of Special Appeals seat reserved for Prince George’s County. Five had initially applied, after which Erika Louise Pierson, an administrative law judge with the District of Columbia, withdrew. Of the remaining four, the Commission has recommended the Hon. Cathy Hollenberg Serrette and the Hon. Melanie Marva Shaw Geter, both of the county circuit court, as well as Phillip Robert Zuber of Sasscer Clagett & Bucher.
Now that Judge Battaglia is preparing for her impending departure, change is occurring rapidly at the Court of Appeals. With Judge Hotten being appointed in December, Judge Watts joining the Court in 2013, and Judge McDonald donning the red robe in 2012, within a month’s time, a majority of the Court’s members will have been there for less than five years. Having gotten in applications before Thursday’s deadline, nine individuals are seeking to be next through the revolving door.
I’ve had the privilege of arguing three cases before D.C Circuit Judge Merrick Garland, who is President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. The media and interest groups are scrutinizing his 19 years’ worth of appellate decisions for insight on his jurisprudence. Much of the criticism from criminal justice advocates (on both the right and the left) is that they see Judge Garland as predisposed to favor prosecutors in criminal appeals. Critics typically cite Tom Goldstein’s 2010 analysis of Judge Garland’s criminal opinions.
My experience, while not necessarily representative, is at odds with this conventional wisdom. Two of my arguments before Judge Garland were as defense counsel in criminal appeals, and he wrote the opinion both times. I would be happy for Judge Garland to be on my panel in every single criminal appeal. Read More…
In a February 15 post, I proposed that Chief Justice Roberts publicly address the harm to the judiciary that would result from Senate Republicans’ proposal to turn the November 2016 election into a referendum on filling the Supreme Court vacancy. I cited Chief Justice Hughes’ 1937 letter undermining the “Court-packing plan” as precedent for such an unusual action. A number of commentators – including Lyle Denniston in a post for Constitution Daily, Ruth Marcus in a Washington Post column, and Gabe Roth in an MSNBC op-ed – later echoed the same argument.
I am under no illusion that Chief Justice Roberts would find the idea of a public statement anything but horrifying. But the political landscape, as it has unfolded over the last month, is far more horrifying. Read More…
February 13 was likely the worst day for Chief Justice Roberts since he joined the Court in 2005. He lost a good friend. He lost an ally. These developments would be awful at any time. The timing, however, turned Justice Scalia’s death into a challenge to the Chief Justice’s quest to preserve the Court’s institutional integrity. Roberts is a student of history, however, and there is precedent for him to take action to defend the judiciary. Read More…