Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn Elected as New Chief Justice of Virginia Supreme Court

by Tyler Arnold


Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn was elected to be the new chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court beginning on Jan. 1 after the current chief justice, Donald W. Lemons, announced he would step down.

The justices elected Goodwyn upon the news of Lemons stepping down. The court issued a news release, but did not say why Lemons was leaving. He has served as the chief justice since Jan. 1, 2015 and his term was not set to end until 2024. He is the oldest justice on the court at age 72.

Chief Justice-elect Goodwyn was appointed to the court in 2007 by former Gov. Tim Kaine and was unanimously elected to the court by the General Assembly in 2008 and reelected in 2020.

Before his selection for the Supreme Court, Goodwyn was a circuit court judge in the City of Chesapeake for a decade. Before that, he served in the General District Court for two years. He is a former research associate professor for the University of Virginia School of Law who earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his law degree from the University of Virginia.

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Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.
Photo “Virginia Supreme Court” by Morgan Riley CC BY 3.0.




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