Bullock’s Judgeship Welcomed By African American Community

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Staff Report

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Tanya BullockThe Virginia General Assembly has appointed Attorney Tanya Bullock, a senior partner with the Bullock and Cooper Law Firm, to a Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations  (JDR) Court judgeship. Bullock will replace Judge Ramona Taylor, an African American who was removed from the bench and denied an interview by the General Assembly Legislature.


Bullock is the fourth African American to be appointed to a judgeship in Virginia Beach. Currently, there is one other African American judge serving on the General District Court. There has never been a Black appointed to the Virginia Beach Circuit Court bench. Carl Wright, the current President of the city’s NAACP, said the civil rights group lobbied hard for Bullock’s appointment.



“She was very grateful that we lobbied and spoke out in support for her. She is a great person and will make a fine addition to the city’s judiciary,” said Wright. “Now we must work on getting more Blacks in positions in the city’s court system, especially the Circuit Court, where we have never had a person of color presiding there.” Prior to being  named to the Beach judiciary, Bullock had made runs for city council, her last run in 2010. She has also been a member of the Committee of the Second Congressional District which is being held by a  Republican. “We need to keep pushing for additional Blacks on the bench in this city’s court system,” said Andrew Jackson, a retired Navy veteran who has run for council several times.  


“The only way justice can be applied fairly is by people who can apply it.  Mrs. Bullock is familiar with the disparities in the judicial system, and I think she will be an effective and fair jurist.” Jackson and the NAACP are working with a coalition of political groups in  the city, including elements of the Tax Alliance and Tea Party to change the system used by the city to elect council. She graduated from North Carolina State with a degree in criminal justice  at 21. Her first job was as a corrections officer at a maximum security women prison in North Carolina.


She was accepted into law school at Regents University, which brought her back to Virginia, according to her bio released by Regents Law School. Bullock received her  Juris Doctorate in 2000. She worked as a prosecutor in Norfolk and Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Offices. In 2005, Bullock and her twin sister Wanda Cooper established the Bullock and Cooper Law Firm.


While African American leaders at the Beach applaud the appointment of Bullock, they say the city still lags behind other cities in Hampton Roads so far the number of minority judges on the bench. “In my humble opinion, Mrs. Bullock should have been directly appointed to the Circuit Court bench in Virginia Beach,” said George Minns, President  of the Seatack Civic League.  “This would have been real  progressive  growth for African Americans in Virginia Beach where there has never been an African American appointed to judgeship in the Virginia Beach Circuit Court.”


Minns said that “real economic progress comes from the bench of the circuit court.  But our circuit court is still “white only.”  “Virginia Beach is over 50-years-old, but not one African American has been appointed to judgeship in the Circuit Court in Virginia Beach,” Minns said. “If it is not race based, then what is it?


“We had two African American female judges; now we still have only two. Nothing has changed, except the name of one of the judges.”


Last modified on Thursday, 31 May 2012 01:19

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