USG Senate denies judicial nominee
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 23:04
When Senator Ozzie Gooding moved to have himself added to the 2012-2013 judicial nominees after having been denied, new precedent was sent in the USG Senate. He asserted that he had not been given a sufficient reason as to why his nomination was denied and, given that a fifth Justice spot remained empty, he requested the Senate fill the position with him.
When asked about his qualifications Gooding called into question the qualifications of the other nominees, arguing they too would have to study procedure in preparation for their new roles – causing the Speaker of the Senate Jigish Patel to object to his statements, citing the discussion was on Gooding’s qualifications not on the qualifications of the other nominees. However, Patel’s objection was challenged forcing the meeting to pause while Chief Justice Jared Ashmore determined whether such a motion to override the Speaker could be made, as such a motion had never happened before. The Speaker’s objection was upheld and debate over the addition of Gooding’s nomination ensued, despite calls to end any debate.
Senator Nicole Douglin, part of the nomination committee who denied Gooding’s application, stated that she stood by the committee’s decision. She said Gooding was unqualified for the position and had not provided him with an answer because she did not want to insult him.
Douglin said, “I did not tell him because I did not want to be rude to his face.” She further stated this call to be nominated now forced her to be rude before the Senate, and proceeded to list the reasons she felt he was unqualified.
Many senators supported that the nomination committee’s decision should not be up for question. The debate quickly became heated and room became loud and disorderly, as the debate continued over Gooding’s qualifications.
In response to Douglin’s remarks about his qualifications, Gooding stated he had only been denied the nomination because of personal prejudice. He denied having missed many meetings or having left early, despite being presented minutes from other meetings noting him missing during roll calls.
“I am embarrassed by USG at the moment,” said Chief of Staff Corey Schmitt. “The conversation I’m hearing is just ridiculous…I don’t believe you’re taking pride in the USG.” He promptly left the meeting.
The question of Gooding’s nomination was put to vote with five senators voting in favor, ten against and nine abstaining; therefore, Gooding was not added to the nominees. The other four other nominees were approved.
As it was the last USG meeting of the year, the committees, executive branch, Judiciary branch and the Speaker gave their final reports.
In his State of the Senate address USG President Sam Tracy said it’s “a time of great change for UConn.” He cited the accomplishments USG made this year from sending a group to the White House to equalizing the penalties for alcohol and marijuana. He encouraged the Senate to take advantage in the coming year of the willingness of the new administration to work with the students for the benefit of the university as a whole.
At the last meeting of USG this year veterans welcomed the incoming Senators. In his end of the year report, Ashmore offered some advice: “This is a public service organization. It is one thing to have pride in what you do and to have ego in what you do. We are here to serve people.”