A trio of Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s judicial nominees were supported by the Senate Executive Nominations Committee on Monday evening.
Hogan (R) nominated the appointees last week to fill vacancies in the state’s appellate courts.
Brynja McDivitt Booth was appointed to the Court of Appeals as a representative of the 1st Appellate Circuit. Calvert County Circuit Court Judge Edward Gregory Wells was appointed by Hogan to the Court of Special Appeals, and Montgomery County lawyer Steven Bennett Gould was appointed to the Court of Special Appeals, representing the 7th Appellate Court.
All three nominees were interviewed by the committee on Monday evening.
Booth, who was nominated to the highest position, fielded the most questions. Sen. Delores Kelley (D-Baltimore County) asked Booth whether she was concerned about a sparse history with criminal cases.
Booth told Kelley she was up-to-date on all legal education requirements and had taken some criminal matters during her 22-year career on the Eastern Shore. Sen. Pamela G. Beidle (D-Anne Arundel) and Sen. Stephen S. Hershey Jr. (R-Upper Shore) noted Booth’s expertise in appellate practice and land use and said she would be an asset to the state’s high court.
Sen. Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) asked Booth about her views on cases regarding legislative and congressional redistricting.
“I’ve formulated no opinions on those issues and would only do so after I research and understand what the courts are doing,” Booth said. “And obviously, of course, we have interesting cases pending in the Supreme Court at this point and some of those issues may be decided for the state as part of that process.”
The nominees will be presented to the full Senate for final approval later this week.
“The appointment of qualified individuals to serve across our state’s justice system is paramount to upholding our responsibilities to the people of Maryland and the rule of law,” Hogan said upon their appointments last week. “I have confidence that Ms. Booth, Judge Wells, and Mr. Gould will be strong advocates for the law and will serve the citizens of their respective jurisdictions and the State of Maryland admirably.”