Being the son of state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller might land you a judgeship. Then again, it might not. Gov. Martin O'Malley's recent request to expand the pool of nominees for an Anne Arundel District Court judgeship for which Mr. Miller's son was an applicant opened the process to charges of political favoritism. That's an inauspicious way to fill a judicial vacancy, even a seat on Maryland's entry-level court.
Thomas V. Miller III, a lawyer and member of the state Parole Commission for 12 years, wasn't included in the initial list of five nominees recommended by the county judicial nominating commission to fill three vacancies. And it should have ended there. But Mr. O'Malley then asked that candidates who had been passed over be reconsidered, and he wanted at least three names per vacancy, as directed in a March executive order. The panel voted again and sent five additional names to the governor, including Mr. Miller's. But three commission members, including two O'Malley appointees, have since resigned, saying the nominating process had been tainted.