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Women’s Caucus Pushes for Judge Burrell to Replace Barbera on Appeals Court

With Maryland Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera due to retire next month, the women’s caucus of the General Assembly is urging Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) to nominate Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Sharon V. Burrell to replace her on the Court of Appeals.

Burrell is one of four candidates recommended for the appointment to the appeals court by a judicial screening commission — and the only woman.

In a letter to Hogan this week, Del. Anne Healey (D-Prince George’s), president of the Women Legislators of Maryland, said a bipartisan committee of women lawmakers who serve on the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee interviewed all four recommended judicial candidates by Zoom recently and came away convinced that Burrell was the best choice. Healey cited Burrell’s “track record of outstanding service as a Judge on the Montgomery County Circuit Court for the past 12 years.”

“Judge Burrell emerged as the Caucus’ strong preference for the appointment due to her superior experience and commitment to enhance the judiciary’s ability to protect women and children…,” Healey wrote.

In addition to Burrell, the Maryland Appellate Courts Judicial Nominating Commission has recommended Court of Special Appeals Judge Steven B. Gould, Court of Special Appeals Judge Terrence M. R. Zic, and attorney J. Bradford McCullough for the vacancy on the state’s highest court.

Barbera has served on the Court of Appeals since 2008 and has been chief judge since 2013. She’s bumping up against the mandatory retirement age for appellate court judges in Maryland, which is 70.

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Women’s Caucus Pushes for Judge Burrell to Replace Barbera on Appeals Court