Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
Thomas V. Miller III has been appointed to serve as a district judge in Maryland. His dad, Thomas V. Miller Jr., is president of the Maryland Senate. Standard operating procedure, right?
Well, it turns out members of the commission that nominates judges in Maryland aren't happy. Three of them have resigned in protest, citing political inference, the Washington Post reports.
Marysabel Rodriguez-Nanney, an immigration and criminal defense attorney in Annapolis, said she "felt the process was not working the way it was supposed to work." She said today she was lobbied by "politically involved people" and "other attorneys" to add Miller to the list but did not provide details.
The younger Miller did not make the first cut of nominees recommended to fill three vacant judgeships in the county, but after the governor requested more names to choose from, he made the list. Miller was one of several candidates in the second round who Rodriguez-Nanney said was unqualified for the post.
The Senate president, his son and a spokesman for [Gov. Martin] O'Malley have denied any political interference in the nominating process.
I'm in favor of merit selection of judges, as opposed to direct election, but this just shows, yet again, that an appointment system is no bar to politics playing a role in filling out the judiciary.
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