O'Malley Reviewing Candidates to Fill Judge Seat - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

O'Malley Reviewing Candidates to Fill Judge Seat

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(Photo: CBS) (Photo: CBS)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- Gov. Martin O'Malley is now weighing candidates to replace Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, who retires from Maryland's highest court in July.
The Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission sent the names of five applicants for the seat on the Court of Appeals to O'Malley on Thursday. O'Malley can select a candidate from the commission's list or disregard the slate.
A spokeswoman for the governor, Takirra Winfield, said O'Malley would begin interviewing candidates for Bell's seat during the week of July 1, but no date has been set for an announcement of the pick.
Bell hits the mandatory retirement age of 70 on July 6. He has served on the seven-member court since 1991. He became chief judge in 1996.
Maryland's state constitution requires Bell's replacement be a Baltimore resident because he holds the city's judicial-district seat. That person does not necessarily have to be named chief judge.
The five people who submitted their names to be considered for the job include three judges on the Court of Special Appeals, Maryland's intermediate court: Stuart R. Berger, Albert J. Matricciani Jr. and Shirley M. Watts.
The remaining two applicants are Baltimore City Circuit Court judge W. Michael Pierson, who has been a judge since 2004, and M. Natalie McSherry, an attorney in private practice. McSherry's appointment would make history because it would mean that for the first time women would be a majority on the court.

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