RICHMOND, Va. -- Eight judges have been elected to the state Court of Appeals following a selection process that Republicans criticized as one-sided and secretive. All of the judges were elected Tuesday.
Six were chosen by the Democratic-controlled House and Senate as part of a court expansion plan approved by the legislature earlier this year.
The other two were elected to fill vacancies on the court.
The court expansion plan drew charges of “court packing” from some Republicans who said it was an attempt to appoint Democrats to promote a liberal agenda.
Democrats, however, said the additional judges are needed to expand the intermediate court’s jurisdiction and give both criminal defendants and civil litigants an automatic right of appeal.