The Fairfax County Bar Association last night recommended that the Virginia General Assembly elevate two lower court judges to circuit court judgeships during the next legislative session.
The bar, in a secret vote, endorsed General District Court Judges Lewis H. Griffith and F. Bruce Bach to succeed retiring Circuit Court Judge James Keith and to fill a new judgeship expected to be created by the assembly.
Bar president William F. Roeder Jr. declined to disclose the results of the bar's vote, but said the selections had been made with a minimum of politicking in contrast to the contest being waged in Alexandria for a circuit court judgeship there. "I would like to think that we are more professional," Roeder said. "We have never had people aggressively search for votes."
Although Virginia's Democratic-controlled legislature typically follows recommendations of area Democrats in naming judges, a member of the Fairfax bar noted yesterday that the 639-member association's recommendations have had "considerable effect" on legislators in the past.
In backing Griffith and Bach, the Fairfax bar rejected a floor nomination of Robert M. Hurst, chief judge of the county's General District Court.
Griffith, 48, a former general practitioner in Mclean has been on the lower court bench since 1974. Bach, 37, was once the senior assistant of the county April.