On Thursday Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced his nomination of Richard Robinson for chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. The 60-year old is currently an associate justice on the Court.
If confirmed by the legislature, Robinson who is a Stamford native, would be the first African-American to hold the top job in Connecticut’s judicial branch.
Robinson has served on the Connecticut bench since 2000, first as a Superior Court judge and then on the State Appellate Court. In 2013 Governor Malloy, who has known Robinson since 1984, appointed him to the State Supreme Court.
Malloy says nominating Robinson to succeed Chief Justice Chase Rogers, who retired in February, furthers his goal of diversifying the state’s judicial branch.
“I’ve always said the courts should look like the people who appear before it. And I think we’ve made great strides in that direction.”
Robinson promised to live up to expectation.
“If my nomination is approved, I promise that from day one until my final day at the branch, I will do all that I can possibly do to live up to the responsibilities that come with this new position.”
Malloy's last chief justice nominee, Associate Justice Andrew McDonald, was rejected last week by the State Senate in a mostly party-line vote in which Republicans opposed him.
McDonald would have been the first openly gay state chief justice in the country. Republicans cited McDonald's rulings, while Democrats accused Republicans of anti-gay bias.
Senate Republican President Len Fasano, who led opposition to McDonald, has said in the past that he would support Robinson’s nomination for the job.
Malloy also nominated Superior Court Judge Steven Ecker of New Haven as an associate justice to succeed Robinson.