- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia General Assembly is set to reconvene Friday to elect judges to fill two vacancies on the state Supreme Court, lawmakers confirmed Monday.

Last week, Gov. Bob McDonnell sent a strongly-worded letter to Assembly leaders urging them to take “immediate action” and either appoint judges or adjourn their special session to allow him to make the appointments.

Justice Lawrence Koontz retired in January and Justice Leroy Hassell Sr. passed away one month later, leaving the court shorthanded.

Assembly leaders have in turn reached a tentative agreement, which would move Judges Elizabeth A. McClanahan and Cleo E. Powell from the state's appellate court to the Supreme Court.

The two appellate vacancies would be filled by Virginia Beach attorney Glen Huff and Stephen McCullough, who now works in the state attorney general’s office, said Delegate Dave Albo, Fairfax Republican and chairman of the House Courts of Justice Committee. However, he cautioned that “nothing’s set in stone until the actual vote happens.”

A number of lower court seats also remain unfilled.

The House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene at 11 a.m Friday. Lawmakers are not expected to reach an accord on a plan to re-draw maps for the state’s 11 Congressional districts this week.

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