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Journal of the

Joint Assembly

________________

IN JOINT ASSEMBLY, March 20, 2008

10:30 A.M.

The Senate and House of Representatives met in the Hall of the House of Representatives pursuant to a Joint Resolution which was read by the Clerk and is as follows:

J.R.S. 55.  Joint resolution providing for a Joint Assembly to vote on the retention of two Superior Judges, one Environmental Judge and three District Judges.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the two Houses meet in Joint Assembly on Thursday, March 20, 2008, at ten o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon to vote on the retention of two Superior Judges, one Environmental Judge and three District Judges.  In case the vote to retain said Judges shall not be made on that day, the two Houses shall meet in Joint Assembly at ten o’clock and thirty minutes in the forenoon, on each succeeding day, Saturdays and Sundays excepted, and proceed until the above is completed.

Presiding Officer

Honorable Brian E. Dubie, President  of the Senate, in the Chair.

Clerk

David A. Gibson, Secretary of the Senate, Clerk.

Statement of Presiding Officer

Pursuant to our Constitution and statutes we are assembled here today in Joint Assembly to cast our votes on the retention of two Superior Judges, one Environmental Judge, and three District Judges.

We are operating under the Judicial Retention Act passed in 1976, as amended in subsequent sessions of the General Assembly, which establishes the procedure for retention of incumbent Superior, Environmental and District Judges.  The date for holding joint assemblies for the retention of judges is set by statute to be the eleventh Thursday of the session.

The procedure to be followed requires that the vote be by written ballot on the specific question:

"Shall the following Judges be retained in office?"

There will be two separate written ballots: one containing the names of the candidates for retention as superior judges and environmental judge; and one containing the names of all of the candidates for retention as district judges.

Retention of Superior Judges and Environmental Judge

We shall now proceed to the matter of retention of the incumbent Superior Judges and the incumbent Environmental Judge. Under the Judicial Retention Act, which establishes the procedure for the retention of Superior Judges and the Environmental Judge, nominations may not be received from the floor; rather, each judge seeking retention must file a declaration of intention to seek retention with the Secretary of State.  The name of each judge seeking retention is automatically voted on pursuant to the terms of the Judicial Retention Act.

In addition, the Judicial Retention Act provides that when a candidate does so declare for retention, the question to be decided is:

"Shall the following Superior Judges be retained in office?"

The statute provides that the vote on this question shall be by one written ballot containing the names of all of the candidates for retention as Superior Judge and Environmental Judge.

Tellers Appointed

Accordingly, we will need tellers, and the Chair will now appoints as tellers:

Senator Jeanette K. White, of Windham District, as Chief Teller

Senator Robert A. Starr, of Essex-Orleans District

Senator Harold W. Giard, of Addison District

Representative Hildegard Z. Ojibway, of Hartford

Representative Norman H. McAllister, Sr., of Highgate

Representative Dexter Randall, of Troy

Representative Kristy Spengler, of Colchester

We shall now proceed to the matter of retention of the incumbent superior judges and the incumbent environmental judge.  For these positions we have received a declaration of intention to seek retention to the office of Superior Judge from the following:

Amy M. Davenport

Katherine A. Hayes

Also, we have received a declaration of intention to seek retention to the office of Environmental Judge from the following:

Merideth Wright

The question to be decided in each of these cases shall be as follows:

"Shall Superior Judge Amy M. Davenport be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

"Shall Superior Judge Katherine A. Hayes be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

"Shall Environmental Judge Merideth Wright be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

The ballot which you will receive will contain these questions in printed form on one single ballot.  The terms of these Judges are for six years, from and including the first day of April, 2008, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

To facilitate the procedure for this morning, the Chair will rule, unless there is objection, that debate on these three Judges will be received separately.  At the end of the debates for the three Judges, any general debate on the entire question shall be in order.

Prior to any debate, we will receive the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention.  The Chair now recognizes the Chair of this Committee, the Senator from Windsor District, Senator Campbell, for the purpose of receiving his report.

Committee Reports

Senator John F. Campbell then delivered a general report for the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of all the Judges.

The Chair then recognized Senator Edward S. Flanagan, of Chittenden District, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of Superior Judge Amy M. Davenport.

The Chair then recognized Representative Willem W. Jewett, of Ripton District, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of Superior Judge Katherine A. Hayes.

The Chair then recognized Representative Alison H. Clarkson, of Woodstock, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of Environmental Judge Merideth Wright.

After debate was concluded, Representative Deen of Westminster and Representative Anderson of Montpelier recused themselves from voting on the retention of Judge Wright pursuant to the provisions of Senate Rule 71.

Thereupon, Representative Donaghy of Poultney moved that the rules be suspended so that the votes on each judge could be taken by calls of the roll.  The President ruled the motion out of order in that the manner of voting was specified by statute and therefore the manner of voting could be altered only by enactment of an amending statute.

Results of Balloting

Balloting then proceeded for the office of the Superior Judge, with the following result:

For Superior Judge Amy M. Davenport

Total votes cast.......................... 169

Necessary for a majority............... 85

For retention.......................... 155

Against retention...................... 14

Whereupon the Chair declared that

AMY M. DAVENPORT, of Montpelier

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of Superior Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2008, and until her successor is elected and has qualified.

For Superior Judge Katherine A. Hayes

Total votes cast.......................... 168

Necessary for a majority............... 85

For retention............................ 93

Against retention...................... 75

Whereupon the Chair declared that

KATHERINE A. HAYES, of

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of Superior Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2008, and until her successor is elected and has qualified.


For Environmental Judge Merideth Wright

Total votes cast.......................... 166

Necessary for a majority............... 84

For retention.......................... 145

Against retention...................... 21

Whereupon the Chair declared that

MERIDETH WRIGHT, of East Montpelier

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of Environmental Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2008, and until her successor is elected and has qualified.

Retention of District Judges

We shall now proceed to the matter of retention of the incumbent District Judges.  For these positions we have received declarations of intention to seek retention to the office of District Judge from the following:

Nancy S. Corsones

Walter M. Morris, Jr.

David T. Suntag

As in the case of the Superior and Environmental Judges, the names of each district judge seeking retention are automatically voted on, and the question to be decided in each of these cases is:

"Shall District Judge Nancy S. Corsones be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

"Shall District Judge Walter M. Morris, Jr. be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

"Shall District Judge David T. Suntag be retained in office?"

Yes                          No                           .

The vote on these questions shall again be by one single written ballot.  The terms of these District Judges are for six years, from and including the first day of April, 2008, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

Again, to facilitate the procedure, unless there is objection the Chair will rule that debate on these three judges will be received separately.  At the end of the debates on these three judges, any general debate on the entire question shall be in order.

The Chair then recognized Senator Kevin J. Mullin, of Rutland District, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of District Judge Nancy S. Corsones.

The Chair then recognized Senator Alice W. Nitka, of Windsor District, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of District Judge Walter M. Morris, Jr.

The Chair then recognized Representative Margaret K. Flory, of Pittsford, who delivered the report of the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention with respect to the candidacy of District Judge David T. Suntag.

For District Judge Nancy S. Corsones

Total votes cast.......................... 147

Necessary for a majority............... 74

For retention.......................... 143

Against retention........................ 4

Whereupon the Chair declared that

NANCY S. CORSONES, of Rutland

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of District Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2008, and until her successor is elected and has qualified.

For District Judge Walter M. Morris, Jr.

Total votes cast.......................... 147

Necessary for a majority............... 74

For retention.......................... 144

Against retention........................ 3

Whereupon the Chair declared that

WALTER M. MORRIS, JR., of Lyndon

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of District Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2008, and until his successor is elected and has qualified.

For District Judge David T. Suntag

Total votes cast.......................... 146

Necessary for a majority............... 74

For retention.......................... 140

Against retention........................ 6


Whereupon the Chair declared that

DAVID T. SUNTAG, of Brattleboro

having received a majority of the total votes cast was duly elected to the office of District Judge for a term of six years, from and including the first day of April, 2008, and until his successor is elected and has qualified.

Dissolution

The purposes for which the Joint Assembly was convened having been accomplished, the Chair then declared the Joint Assembly dissolved.

DAVID A. GIBSON

Secretary of the Senate

Clerk of the Joint Assembly

 



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