ANNAPOLIS — Former state senator and member of Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration Joseph Getty packed the House of Delegates chamber with family, friends and mentors Monday as he was sworn in as the newest judge on the Court of Appeals.
Hogan said Getty, 64, is smart, fair, reasoned, logical and has a great sense of history.
“I have the utmost confidence that he will continue to serve the state of Maryland with great honor and distinction,” Hogan said.
Getty left the state Senate in 2015 – months after being re-elected – to serve on Hogan’s transition team before joining the administration as chief legislative officer.
“He has a long and impressive record as a devoted public servant for the entire state,” Hogan said.
In the “lots and lots of letters” Hogan read about Getty prior to appointing him to the court, the common thread was his “deep care” for the state and its people, the governor said.
The Court of Appeals is the highest court in the state and consists of seven judges, led by Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. The court hears cases almost exclusively at its own discretion with appealing parties filing petitions for writs of certiorari to request their matter be heard.
Hogan appointed Getty to fill the seat vacated by Judge Lynne A. Battaglia, who retired earlier this year when she reached the mandatory judicial retirement age of 70.
“It’s my hope that I can achieve the same high standards as Judge Battaglia,” Getty said, calling her a “key jurist.”
Like Battaglia, a former U.S. Attorney for Maryland, Getty comes to the court without any judicial experience. Prior to serving in the Hogan administration,Getty was a member of the House of Delegates and then the Senate. He also worked as a policy and legislative director for then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., also a Republican.
Shortly after being named to the court, Getty said his time in both the legislative and executive branches offered him a great foundation for a role on the court.
David R. Brinkley, secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, said it is rare to appoint someone who has served in both chambers of the legislature and the executive branch to the bench.
“Judge Getty is collegial and creative,” said Brinkley, who served in the legislature with him.
Speaker of the House Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas Mike Miller took turns praising Getty’s legislative service.
Busch said Getty has always put the citizens of Maryland first.
“You know whether [people are] putting the best interests of the people forward or the best interests of themselves forward,” Busch said.
Miller told the members of the Court of Appeals in attendance they were “getting a unifier” in Getty, whom he said always stood tall in the push-pull between the far right and far left in the legislature.
“The middle loses a very valuable person,” he said.
Getty must still be confirmed by the Senate to remain on the bench. The hearing will occur when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.