Judge Cavedo and no more regrets
7/23/2020, 6 p.m.
Judge Bradley B. Cavedo did the right thing by removing himself from further involvement with cases concerning the Confederate statues along Monument Avenue and in Richmond.
He had many apparent conflicts of interest, including glar- ingly that his residence is just blocks from where the J.E.B. Stuart statue stood and he possibly could stand to benefit — or lose — from any decision regarding the statues.
While he has recused himself from these cases, Judge Cavedo and his actions, his comments from the bench and his past writings call into question his biases about African-Americans and people of color and raise serious questions about whether he can fairly impart justice should he remain on the bench.
Already, at least one noted Richmond attorney has filed a complaint against Judge Cavedo with the state’s Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission about his impartiality.
The entire episode highlights the need for better vetting — and unmasking — of candidates being considered for judgeships in Virginia. Too often, state judicial nominees, who ultimately are voted on by members of the Virginia General Assembly, can be depended upon to mete out justice with one eye on the law and the other eye winking in deference to the “old boy network” that put them on the bench. Others are afraid of rocking the boat for fear of not getting re-elected to the bench when their term is up.
Sen. Mark R. Warner, a Democrat, put Judge Cavedo on the bench in 2002 when he was governor, despite Judge Cavedo’s long and well-known ties to Republicans and right wing GOP views. He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the court, with the legislature confirming the appointment in electing him in 2003 to his first eight-year term.
In court hearings on the Monument Avenue statue cases, Judge Cavedo called the recent Richmond protests against police brutality and racial injustice “a revolution” and sharply rebuked Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney about the need to “restore law and order to the city” from “rioters.”
Unfortunately, we know of conservative Democrats who also hold the same disgusting views as Judge Cavedo. None of them should be appointed to a judgeship.
We call on members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, legislators of conscience within the Virginia General Assembly and progressives around the state to thoroughly review the candidates for judgeships before we are stuck down the road with regrets.