Bill to add Virginia appeals court judges draws GOP protests

Bill to add Virginia appeals court judges draws GOP protests
FILE - In this March 5, 2020 file photo, House majority leader Del. Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, composes herself as she delivers a speech on Sally Hemming during the House session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. A proposal to add four to six new judges to Virginia's Court of Appeals is drawing protests and charges of “court packing” from some Republicans. Democrats say the additional judges are needed to expand the intermediate court's jurisdiction and give criminal defendants and civil litigants an automatic right of appeal. “I’m sorry they are making this a political issue. This is about access for everybody to our judicial system," Herring said. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) (Source: Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A proposal to add four to six new judges to Virginia’s Court of Appeals is drawing protests and charges of “court packing” from some Republicans.

Democrats say the additional judges are needed to give criminal defendants and civil litigants an automatic right of appeal.

Republicans say adding four to six new judges at once is a blatant attempt to change the political makeup of the court and push a liberal agenda.

The idea of expanding the court’s jurisdiction and adding judges to the 11-judge court has been debated since the court was formed in the 1980s.

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