After a loooong meeting of the Senate Republicans, they apparently have settled on yet ANOTHER person to nominate for the Virginia Supreme Court — Judge Stephen R. McCullough of the Virginia Court of Appeals. They have deleted the name of Rossie Alston from the amendment. Also, no sign of Ken Cuccinelli. Fascinating.
UPDATE #1: The Richmond Times-Dispatch says that Cuccinelli “took himself out of the running.” If so, that’s very smart on his part, as he kept his political options open and didn’t fall into Ed Gillespie’s wily trap. LOL Or it could be that Vogel, Reeves, or some other Republican said “no,” and that they’re just saying Cooch “took himself out of the running” to save face all around.
UPDATE #2: McCullough was evaluated by the Virginia State Bar, along with 8 other candidates (Thomas W. Aldous, Jr., W. Coleman Allen, Jr., The Honorable Rossie D. Alston, The Honorable Randolph A. Beales, L. Steven Emmert, The Honorable Mary Jane Hall, The Honorable D. Arthur Kelsey, Christy A. McCormick) for the Virginia Supreme Court. McCullough was rated as “qualified” by a vote of 11-5, which is VERY striking given that the other candidates all received unanimous votes or a 15-1 vote in one case. So…McCullough was the lowest rating of those evaluated. Hmmm.
As for McCullough’s resume, here are the highlights: 1) received his law degree from the University of Richmond in 1997; 2) served as Law Clerk, Justice Leroy R. Hassell, Sr., Supreme Court of Virginia, 1997-99; Office of the Attorney General, 1999-2011 (Assistant Attorney General, 1999-2006; Deputy State Solicitor General, 2006-08; State Solicitor General, 2008-10; Senior Appellate Counsel/opinions counsel, 2010-11); 3) currently serves on the Court of Appeals of Virginia; 4) his evaluation states, “Judge McCullough is doing an excellent job on the Court of Appeals of Virginia. He fits in well with the other judges on the Court of Appeals. At the interview, Judge McCullough presented as bright, articulate, and witty.” Oh, he also “authored entries for Justice Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas.”
I found a piece he wrote, A VANISHING VIRGINIA CONSTITUTION?, which argues: “Some of the most important protections embodied in the Virginia Constitution should not be relegated to irrelevance by sweeping declarations that they are co-extensive with provisions found in the United States Constitution.”
McCullough also wrote this piece, “ESSAY: ARTICLE I SECTION 13 OF THE VIRGINIA CONSTITUTION: OF MILITIAS AND AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS.”
UPDATE #3: Virginia Attorney Dan Press sums it up on Facebook — “A little quick research establishes that the guy is dangerous. He was Kook-inelli’s and McDonnell’s Solicitor General, advancing their far right agenda in the State and Federal appellate and Supreme Courts. For example, he led the State’s anti-Obamacare legal team (that left us without mandatory Medicaid expansion and the mess we have now with the working poor being unable to get coverage). He worked on efforts to block the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations. He attempted to undermine the confrontation clause. He needs to be stopped.”