Interviewing candidates for soon-to-be-vacant seat on state court

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- To fill a soon-to-be vacant seat on the Virginia Supreme Court, a legislative committee has interviewed four candidates - including a committee member's sister.

The Roanoke Times reports Sen. Ben Chafin remained seated with the rest of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee on Wednesday during Judge Teresa Chafin's interview. The Russell County Republican and the Virginia Court of Appeals judge are also former law partners.

The senator didn't ask questions of any of the candidates. He told the newspaper he wouldn't comment on her interview. Committee chair Sen. Mark Obenshain waved off a reporter who asked if Ben Chafin's participation was appropriate. Teresa Chafin said she couldn't answer a reporter's questions because she was a sitting judge.

Justice Elizabeth McClanahan is retiring from the seven-member court effective Sept. 1.

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