Senate Approves Adding Six Judges to Virginia’s Appeals Court

A bill to add six judges to the Virginia Court of Appeals passed the Senate 21 to 18 on Friday. The bill would also create a right to appeal, something that every other state already has, but that advocates say is currently impossible due to the court’s manpower shortage. The court has just 11 judges, while states with similar populations often have more. However, Republicans oppose the bill because judges would be elected in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

SB 1261 sponsor State Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke) said in committee on January 25 that Virginia’s current system gives no automatic right of appeal in any Virginia court.

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