NAACP Calls for Fairness as Lawmakers Look to Appoint New Judge

The Loudoun County chapter of the NAACP held a press conference this afternoon urging state lawmakers to give the only black candidate for the vacant Circuit Court judgeship a fair shot.

The NAACP has joined the Loudoun legal community in raising concerns that one of the six attorneys known to be vying for the position, Fauquier County Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher, did not go to the Loudoun Bar Association seeking endorsement. He instead was the first and only candidate to appear before the House and Senate Courts of Justice committees, which will determine which candidates are qualified to be appointed to judgeships during the upcoming session, before the Loudoun Bar completed its recommendations.

During today’s press conference, held on the Loudoun County Courthouse lawn, Loudoun’s NAACP President Phillip Thompson said the racial makeup of government officials does not reflect the racial makeup of the county’s population. He called for the appointment of Lorrie Sinclair to the post. Sinclair last year was appointed to a six-year term as a substitute judge in the 20th Circuit.

“Loudoun County has no minority judges, and it has been that way forever,” he said. “We believe, if the process is fair and impartial, [Sinclair] will have an opportunity to become a judge in Loudoun County.”

Del. Jennifer Boyko (D-86) read a letter signed by most of the state senators and delegates who represent Loudoun in the General Assembly that criticizes the Courts of Justice committees’ process. No state lawmaker who represents Loudoun sits on those committees.

The letter states that “it is troubling that a candidate has been forwarded to the Courts of Justice Committees without the proper vetting of candidates that would include the completed evaluation by the Loudoun Bar Association and a formal interview of the candidates by the members of the Loudoun delegation. … To proceed with an appointment without the involvement of the entire Loudoun delegation to the General Assembly disenfranchises the representation of hundreds of thousands of Loudoun citizens.”

Five Loudoun attorneys have applied to the Loudoun Bar seeking its endorsement: Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Sean Morgan; Lorrie Sinclair and Matthew Snow, who are partners at Biberaj Snow & Sinclair in Leesburg; sole practitioner Danell J. Palladine; and Kristin Quirk, an associate at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy. Morgan and Sinclair were among the candidates considered for the seat two years ago. Fisher, who previous served as a deputy commonwealth’s attorney in Loudoun, did not seek the Bar’s endorsement.

4 thoughts on “NAACP Calls for Fairness as Lawmakers Look to Appoint New Judge

  • 2018-12-20 at 10:24 am
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    Does anyone believe the NAACP is all about fairness instead of preferential treatment for persons of color?

  • 2018-12-23 at 9:18 am
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    I think having a judge of African American or Latino descent would be good, particularly one who is fluent in Spanish , as I would guess that a large percentage of defendants in criminal cases are Latino.
    So, I am with the NAACP on this one. However, it really galls me that Thompson and THomas have to resort to incendiary rhetoric, accusing politicians of being “racist” every time they don’t get their way (as with the TOwn Council over this cemetery on Sycolin Road). In addition, inviting a candidate to speak to the press who is a Democrat, without any regard for her opponent, Joe May, who may actually support their position for all I know, shows how the NAACP of Loudoun (of which I was a member for several years) has become a partisan organization to help Democrats only. So, I do hope the General Assembly appoints a judge who represents the growing non white population, but I wish THompson and Rev. THomas would stop the divisive language.

    • 2019-01-02 at 5:01 am
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      I don’t want to hear from Joe May either. He lost for several reasons.

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