Statement of Delegate Kirk Cox on Governor Ralph Northam’s Court Packing Plan

Former Virginia House of Delegates Speaker, retired teacher, and candidate for Governor Kirk Cox released the following statement Wednesday on the Governor’s proposed budget amendments.

“Governor Northam presented a budget that, like the one passed by the Democratic Majority passed in October, is structurally out of balance and spends more money than Virginia actually receives in revenue. The budget relies on the strong fiscal position left by the Republican majority in order to fund the governor’s priorities.

“Unfortunately, many of the Governor’s priorities are misplaced. His budget fails to provide any meaningful support for students and parents grappling with virtual learning. The proposal also fails to address the ongoing problems with unemployment claims at the Virginia Unemployment Commission.

“I am seriously concerned about the Governor’s proposal to pack the Virginia Court of Appeals. While I recognize that additional capacity may be needed at the Court of Appeals, and I believe that civil cases merit review at the Court of Appeals, this General Assembly and this Governor should not get to pack the Court with Judges of their choosing. The enactment date of any court expansion should be staggered and new Judges should be appointed by a nonpartisan merit-based selection committee to ensure this does not become a partisan attempt to remake our well-respected Court of Appeals.”