Even if that route fails, there also appears to be a shift among GOP leaders who originally voted against Thorne-Begland. A local NBC affiliate reports that Republican Delegate Richard Morris has reversed his position on Thorne-Begland's potential appointment:
According to a memo obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Morris says he's reversing his decision after an extensive review of Thorne-Begland's military past.
Several lawmakers say they were opposed to Thorne-Begland's election to the bench because he violated the military's the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy when he came out on national television back in 1992. Some conservative delegates also believed he would pursue a gay rights agenda from the bench.
Morris' support comes after several prominent lawyers wrote the court in support of Thorne-Begland. A Richmond City Councilmen also proposed a resolution backing the former Navy pilot.
Senator Donald McEachin is praising Delegate Morris, releasing a statement that reads in part, "In this action, Delegate Morris has shown himself to be truly serving the public and willing to do what is best, regardless of previous statements of partisanship".
Leopards can indeed change their spots.