The Vetting Process
Experienced. Trusted. Fair.
JUDGE ALBAN, JUDGE MORRIS, JUDGE THOMPSON and JUDGE TRUNNELL underwent a rigorous vetting process! First, Our Judges and several other judicial candidates submitted a lengthy application detailing their careers, accomplishments and contributions to our community. Next, a variety of specialty bar associations reviewed these applications, interviewed the applicants, and rated the applicants. In addition, all the attorneys who belong to the Anne Arundel County Bar Association were able to rate the applicants based on their qualifications. Then, the Judicial Nominating Commission (the JNC) interviewed and evaluated all of the judicial applicants. The JNC narrowed the pool of applicants down to the ones they felt were the most qualified and submitted that list to the Governor’s office. Finally, the Governor’s office considered all the rankings and recommendations and conducted their own investigation and vetting process of the names on that short list. Governor Hogan then interviewed those candidates himself. Out of that process, Our Judges were determined to be the most qualified and were appointed to the bench by the governor.
After going through that process, appointed Circuit Court judges are required by law to appear on the ballot in the next general election. They must do this to keep their jobs. Their election is one in which other candidates can decide to run against them to take their job. Interestingly, this is the only level of the judges in our state that must face this challenge. The appellate judges appear on the ballot as a choice to retain them or not to retain them. District court judges are confirmed and reconfirmed through the legislature.
Our Judge’s opponents do not go through the same rigorous vetting process. Some have chosen not to go through the process at all and some have gone through it and are not appointed. The only requirements to be a candidate for Circuit Court Judge are that: they be an attorney, they be a county resident, they be 30 years old and they pay the $50 filing fee. Additionally, Our Judges’ opponents are not judges. As such, they are not bound by judicial oath or judicial ethics during the campaign, like Our Judges are bound. For example, candidates can raise money for themselves and tell voters what they will do in certain cases.
There will be no way to distinguish Our Judges, the vetted judges, from the random candidates on the ballot. There will be no way to tell whether the candidate is one of Our Judges, who has experience and trust and who has taken an oath to be fair. So, be sure to remember Our Judges’ names on June 2, 2020 – PAMELA ALBAN, ELIZABETH MORRIS, ROB THOMPSON and RICHARD TRUNNELL!
Help Keep Our Judges!