Cleo Powell elected to the Virginia Supreme Court

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's General Assembly has elected the first black woman to the state's Supreme Court.

Cleo Powell was elected by unanimous votes in the House and the Senate on Friday along with Elizabeth McClanahan. Both are being elevated from current positions on the Virginia Court of Appeals.

Two vacancies had slowed the work flow of the seven-member high court. Powell and McClanahan fill the seats left empty from the retirement of Justice Lawrence Koontz and the death in February of Justice Leroy Hassell.

The House and Senate met for only about two hours before lawmakers headed home on another indefinite recess in a special on-again, off-again redistricting session that began in April.

Negotiators from the House and Senate have yet to break an impasse over conflicting congressional reapportionment plans.