Last week, longtime Vermont Supreme Court Justice John Dooley announced he will retire at the end of his term, next March. There followed the predictable encomiums to his service and legal mind and his staunch liberalism, notably expressed in the 1999 civil unions decision.
You know the first thing that crossed my mind?
Who gets to fill the vacancy: Peter Shumlin or his successor?
Yeah, I immediately went to the politics. Vermont Political Observer through and through. The stakes aren’t nearly as high as for the U.S. Supreme Court, but there are definitely stakes. Presumably Phil Scott and Sue Minter would have different qualifications in mind if they got to name one of the Court’s five Justices.
I don’t know for sure; no one in the media has seen fit to inquire about the candidates’ judicial philosophy and their views of Vermont jurisprudence.