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Movement on Judicial Vacancies

Nominees for the next Court of Special Appeals judgeships have been handed to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s office for consideration.

There are two Court of Special Appeals openings, an at-large position and one representing Montgomery County, the state’s Seventh Appellate Judicial Circuit.

From a pool of eight applicants, four nominees were forwarded to Hogan for consideration on the state’s intermediate appellate court to replace the Seventh Circuit Judge Patrick L. Woodward. The candidates put forward by a judicial nomination commission are: Steven Bennett Gould, Brian Scott Kleinbord, Rachel Theora McGuckian and James Bradford McCullough.

Eleven nominees were forwarded to the governor’s office for the at-large position, which opened up with the retirement of Judge Deborah S. Eyler. The nominees are: Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Judith Claibourne Ensor, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Paul Fletcher-Hill, Steven Bennett Gould, Brian Scott Kleinbord, Rachel Theora McGuckian, Calvert County Circuit Court Judge Edward Gregory Wells,Phillip Robert Zuber, Cathleen Cawley Brockmeyer, Gardner Mareen Duvall, Kurt James Fischer and James Bradford McCullough.

Once Hogan makes an appointment, the person will be subject to confirmation by the Maryland Senate.

An opening of the Court of Appeals to represent the First Appellate Judicial Circuit was recently re-advertised. The new deadline for candidates is Dec. 26. The judicial nominating commission is expected to meet in mid-January. The position is open due to the retirement of Judge Sally D. Adkins. The First Appellate Judicial Circuit includes the counties of Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties.

Since winning re-election, Hogan will name a majority of members of the state’s highest court in the next term.

Earlier this week, Hogan announced a series of appointments to lower courts in the state: Andrew Martin Battista to the Baltimore County Circuit Court, Kerwin Anthony Miller, Sr. to the District Court for Harford County, Joseph Michael Stanalonis to the St. Mary’s County Circuit Court, and Sidney Allen Butcher to the District Court for Anne Arundel County.

There are a handful of additional judicial vacancies in the state, including for the circuit courts in Montgomery and Howard counties and the district courts in Prince George’s County and the city of Baltimore.

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