Virginia Gov. John N. Dalton jumped into the federal judgeship controversy today and said President Carter should fill four new judgeships from among the list of 10 white males recommended by Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr. (Ind-Va.).
"I personally do not believe in a quota system for judges," said Dalton, who an aide had suggested prior to the governor's news conference might be more than eager to discuss the subject.
"I'm very much in favor of the merit selection of judges and in trying to find the best qualified person you can," Dalton said, adding that he thought the Byrd list included persons "well qualified to become either a federal or state judge."
President Carter and black and women's groups have criticized the all-white male list for its exclusion of Minorities and women, but Dalton said today he was "in sympathy" with Byrd's recommendations.
"I understand there were blacks and women on the commission," said Dalton, in reference to a special selection group Byrd appointed to help him nominate judge candidates. "If these are the people who have been recommended, and they did it without any quotas, then I think it's important to follow the list."
The Republicans governor began his news conference by warning Virginia motorists that caravans of up to 2,000 tractors are "moving this way" into the state next week enroute to an American Agricultural Movement protest in Washington.
Dalton said motorist next Tuesday and Wednesday should use alternative routes to avoid traffic jams on Interstate Rtes. 81 and 64, U.S. Rtes 29 and 50 in those sections where the "Tractorcade" is expected to travel north.