Posted: Jan. 15, 2003; Updated Jan. 16, 2003
CALVIN SCOTT TAPPED FOR
By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer
Calvin L. Scott Jr., a deputy attorney general
who also is in line to lead the Delaware State Bar Association, is
Gov. Ruth Ann Minner's choice to fill a vacant Superior Court
judgeship, the Delaware Grapevine has learned.
Scott would assume a Republican seat in New
Castle County on the court, replacing Judge Carl Goldstein, who
retired. Scott would be the third African-American on the 19-member
court that handles both criminal and civil cases.
His nomination to the post, a 12-year term
with a current salary of $140,200 a year, must be confirmed by a
majority vote of the 21-member state Senate.
Reached late Wednesday afternoon, Scott said
the governor had called him hours earlier to tell him about her
decision. "I was very excited," he said.
Minner formally announced Thursday that she
would nominate Scott. "Calvin has the qualities that will make him
an excellent judge, and I hope members of the state Senate will
agree with my opinion and confirm him," she said in a news release.
Scott, 47, of Newark, has worked in the state
Justice Department since 1993. He is the group leader for lawyers
who represent state departments and agencies.
He also serves as the state bar association's
vice president-at-large, which puts him in line to become the
president in 2004. It is an aspiration he indicated he intends to set aside in
exchange for the judgeship, even though there officially is nothing
to prevent him from doing both.
Patricia C. Hannigan, an assistant U.S.
attorney who is the bar association president, said the governor
"I'm delighted for him and delighted for the
court," she said. "He's an absolutely wonderful choice. If you're
looking for someone with what we call judicial temperament, that's
Scott was selected from a list of four
candidates forwarded to the governor from the Judicial Nominating
Commission, a nine-member panel that screens applicants for the
bench. Although the nominating process is confidential, the names on
it typically become common knowledge among the bench and bar because
of the keen interest in the appointment.
Scott emerged from a list said to include two
of his colleagues in the Justice Department, Chief Deputy Attorney
General Ferris W. Wharton and Deputy Attorney General Paul R.
Wallace, as well as Chief Disciplinary Counsel Mary M. Johnston.
Scott is a graduate of St. John's College High
School, Carnegie-Mellon University and Widener University School of
Law. He has been a member of the Delaware bar since 1992.
"Due to the quality of candidates given to me
by the Judicial Nominating Commission, this was a very tough
decision for me to make," Minner said. "I have interviewed each of
the four candidates recommended for this position and was impressed
by each of them."
For Minner, a first-term Democrat, the
nomination is her second to the Superior Court. She named Judge Jan
R. Jurden to that bench in 2001.
Under the Delaware constitution, the courts
must be as politically balanced as possible. Scott's presence would
maintain the Superior Court's current lineup of 10 Republican and 9
Democratic judges, and it would keep the state's constitutional
courts split with Democratic majorities on the Supreme Court and the
Court of Chancery and a Republican majority on the Superior Court.
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