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Hogan receives list of five candidates for Md. Court of Appeals seat

Gov. Larry Hogan will most likely choose the next Maryland high-court judge from a list of two jurists and three lawyers.

Gov. Larry Hogan will most likely choose the next Maryland high-court judge from a list of two jurists and three lawyers.

Gov. Larry Hogan will most likely choose the next Maryland high-court judge from a list of two jurists and three lawyers – including his chief legislative aide – that was submitted to him this week by the Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission.

The list for the vacant Court of Appeals seat includes Joseph M. Getty, who left the state Senate in 2015 to work for Hogan; Court of Special Appeals Judge Kathryn Grill Graeff; Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley; and attorneys Andrew D. Levy, of Brown Goldstein Levy LLP in Baltimore, and Thomas E. Lynch III of Miles & Stockbridge PC in Frederick.

The Court of Appeals seat became vacant on April 14, when Judge Lynne A. Battaglia reached the state Constitution’s mandatory judicial retirement age of 70. Battaglia said she will remain on the bench by special assignment until her successor is named.

Hogan is not legally bound to select the next judge from the commission’s list. However, the gubernatorial practice of the last four decades has been to do so.

Hogan has not stated when he will make his selection. The governor’s pick will be able to take the bench upon being sworn in but will have to be confirmed by the Senate during the next General Assembly session to remain on the court.

The General Assembly reconvenes in January.

The nominating panel received a list of nine applicants for Battaglia’s seat in March.

One applicant, Finksburg solo practitioner Steven L. Tiedemann, withdrew. The commission, after its vetting process, declined without explanation to forward the names of three applicants to the governor: Frederick County Circuit Judge Theresa M. Adams; Howard County Circuit Judge Richard S. Bernhardt; and Karen Louise Federman Henry, of the Office of the Montgomery County Attorney.