Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Senate President's son up for a judgeship? Puleeeeesee.

A vote to confirm Mike Miller III as a district judge may be a career-defining vote for each member of the Maryland Senate. 

Are you there to represent the best interests of your district or there merely to help Mike Miller II find a nice job on the public payroll for Mike Miller III? 

Three attorneys on the nominations commission resigned, objecting to this appointee as unqualified and also objecting to pressure on them to approve this appointment. That ought to have been enough to kill this nomination.

A Maryland senator who votes to seat on a district court bench the son of the Senate President is casting a vote for nepotism. This would be a vote for a sinecure not a judgeship.  

Instead of a lemming-like vote in favor, the Senators ought to send this nomination back to the Executive Nominations Committee (Senator Delores Kelly, Chair) where testimony can be elicited as to (1) WHY three members of the commission objected to this appointment (2)  HOW the commission was reconstituted so as to pass this nominee on to the Governor. 

The importance of a hearing is obvious. It is serious and extraordinary for three attorneys, who live and work in the jurisdiction in question, to object to a judicial appointment on the grounds of unqualification and political interference. 

The governor's executive staff need to be examined under oath before the Executive Nominations Committee. Also, the three lawyers (who have placed their practices in some degree of jeopardy already) ought to be at least minimally protected further, by a Senate subpoena. They are:

Eileen Powers - 410-573-2900
Marysabel Rodriguez-Nanney - 410 268-5070

Paula Peters - 410-990-0090

It is integrity-time for each member of the Maryland Senate. The Senate best not simply create a judge out of the son of the Senate President.  

To write this sentence is simply to state the obvious: Mike Miller III is being considered for a judgeship simply because Mike Miller II is a powerful guy. 

Because Thomas V Miller is a powerful guy, the Governor simply reconstituted the commission and got the word out that he wanted Miller III to be recommended to him; the Governor manipulated the appointments procedure merely to get the son's name in front of him.

This is a sham.  This is ugly. This is blatant politicking in favor of putting public money into the pockets of a powerful guy's  family. 

If this nomination is approved, the Senate will have  abdicated its duty to protect the public fisc and the state judiciary against political interference. 

If this nomination is approved, Chief Judge Robert Bell will be asked to conduct his own, independent investigation into a matter, which obviously compromises the integrity and the independence of the Maryland Judiciary.