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Hogan appoints legislative lobbyist to top court

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan today appointed his legislative lobbyist, Joseph Getty, to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.

Getty comes to the seat not from a judicial background, but rather from a career in the state’s legislative and executive branches of government.

Getty currently oversees legislation and policy matters in Hogan’s administration. But he spent the bulk of the past two decades as a Republican legislator representing Carroll and Baltimore counties. He served in both the House of Delegates and the state Senate.

He said that background makes him a stronger pick for the state’s highest court.

“Sometimes non-judicial experience in areas like the legislature and the executive branch are very helpful in guiding the court toward a consensus on an issue,” he said.

He also said his Republican political ties won’t color his decisions.

“The Maryland Court of Appeals has a strong tradition of deciding each case on its merits, so I don’t think politics enters into it,” he said.

Getty is taking the seat of Judge Lynne Battaglia, who was appointed to the court by former Gov. Parris Glendening, a Democrat.

Hogan chose Getty from five recommendations made by a nominating commission. In a statement, he praised Getty’s career of public service.

Hogan also appointed two sitting circuit court judges to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Donald Beachley is an associate judge on the Washington County Circuit Court, and Melanie Shaw Geter is an associate judge on the Prince Geroge’s County Circuit Court.

All of the appointments take effect immediately.