On the heels of this horribly one-sided editorial in the Virginian-Pilot on Friday comes an article today about an interview conducted by Norfolk State Senator Nick Rerras (R-6th) of Mary G. Commander, a candidate for a Juvenile and Domestic Relations judgeship. In order to speak out, Ms. Commander resigned as a substitute judge in the juvenile and general district courts. The text of her letter to Rerras was posted yesterday at VB Dems.
I am ashamed to admit that my current representative in the state senate is Nick Rerras. I have no reason to disbelieve Ms. Commander. The questions asked of her were totally inappropriate, even by his own admission.
But even more troubling is that the decision rests in the hands of a single individual. There is something wrong with our system when one person is able to decide whether to advance a candidate’s name for consideration for a judgeship. Our judicial system is supposed to be fair and independent, but when the selection process involves a litmus test, those ideals get thrown out of the window.
No one is asking Senator Rerras to hang up his morals and his conscience simply because he is an elected official. On the contrary, having morals and a conscience is a good thing – for an individual. But that’s not who elected officials represent. I expect someone who is elected to represent me take into account the wide range of opinions of those who elected him. That is the responsibility of an elected official.
If Mr. Rerras is unwilling and/or unable to represent the 6th Senate district in its entirety, it is time for him to leave elected office. We already have an alternative: Dr. Ralph Northam.
And kudos to Ms. Commander for speaking out. If you had not done so, we would be totally unaware of this despicable behavior.