WHY DO JUDGES RUN FOR ELECTION?
You may ask "Why is Judge Titus running for election if he is already the incumbent or 'sitting judge?'" The answer is that the Maryland Constitution requires Circuit Court judges to stand for election to a full term after appointment by the Governor.
What many people do not know is that prior to his appointment, Judge Titus underwent a rigorous vetting process designed to ensure that only the most qualified attorneys are appointed to the bench by the Governor.
Based on a Gubernatorial Executive Order, which has been followed by every Governor -- Democrat and Republican -- since 1970, the Carroll County Judicial Nominating Commission ("JNC") screens candidates for judicial office. The 13 member JNC, which consists of business owners, community leaders and local attorneys, is charged with ensuring that only those lawyers who are the “most distinguished for integrity, wisdom and sound legal knowledge” are recommended to the Governor for consideration.
Judge Titus -- the incumbent in the upcoming election – has been through the JNC process twice. He received the highest ranking on each occasion resulting in his appointment. The application process starts with a lengthy and comprehensive application covering all aspects of education, breadth and depth of law practice, and personal background of each applicant.
All applications were submitted to twelve diverse bar associations, each of which conducted its own investigation and interviews. Additionally, the Bar Association of Carroll County conducted a referendum where each applicant’s qualifications were subjected to a vote by the membership.
The results of both the referendum and the specialty bar association interviews are then provided to the JNC. It then conducted its own independent investigation, vetting process and interviews. Only the most highly qualified candidates were sent by the Commission to the Governor who finally interviews and appoints the best of the best.
As a peer-reviewed and fully vetted judge, voters can be assured that Judge Titus possesses the requisite legal skills, temperament and knowledge for the position.