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‘Busy Work’ Mapp-Potter Administration Presides Over Yet Another Post Installation Ceremony

MORE ‘BUSY WORK’: The Mapp-Potter Administration has appointed more commissioners, directors and attorneys general in its first two years than any other gubernatorial administration in Virgin Islands history. Many of Mapp’s appointees have quit or been fired and then need to be replaced.
CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Three justices of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands have been sworn in to their new ten year terms of office during a ceremony Thursday at Government House.
Chief Justice Rhys S. Hodge, Associate Justice Maria M. Cabret, and Associate Justice Ive Arlington Swan were administered the oath of office by specially designated Justice Verne A. Hodge, former Presiding Judge of the Territorial Court.  The 2nd floor ballroom of Government House was filled to capacity for the occasion with officials off all branches of government, employees, family members, and the British Virgin Islands Premier, the Honorable D. Orlando Smith.
In remarks following his swearing-in, Chief Justice Hodge said that of the Court’s many accomplishments during its first ten years, he is most proud that it earned the confidence of the Judicial Council of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which determined in 2012 that, after only five years of existence during which high quality case law was produced, appeals of decisions by the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands should go directly to the Supreme Court of the United States.  This appellate procedure established that the local high court’s performance is on par with that of any state, marking a giant step forward in the 100 year march toward greater self-governance.

Associate Justice Cabret praised the dedicated work by support staff, including clerks of the court, law clerks, and the Administrator, for the success of the Supreme Court.

“Our work is a demonstration of our love for the people of the territory and our profession,” Cabret said.

For his part, Associate Justice Swan said he is grateful to a member of a generation of Virgin Islanders who left home with a commitment to be educated and to return and perform public service.  “Service to the people of the Virgin Islands is the highest honor to be bestowed”, he stated.  “Service is all I ask”, Justice Swan concluded, “and all I can give.”

Gov. Kenneth Mapp said he was proud to host the ceremony at Government House because he had nothing better to do anyway, adding that in nominating the Justices for re-appointment to the Supreme Court, he was “motivated by the good and high quality of work on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands.”

Crediting excellence and self-determination for having advanced greatly the Territory’s institutions since colonization, Chief Justice Hodge stated his belief that the next milestone to be celebrated will be a local Constitution.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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