Appellate Court Judge Richard Robinson Nominated To Conn. Supreme Court

, The Connecticut Law Tribune


Richard Robinson
Richard Robinson

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Tuesday announced his nomination of state Appellate Court Judge Richard Robinson to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Robinson has known Malloy for more than 25 years, stemming back to his time as assistant corporation counsel of Stamford when Malloy was mayor.

"I am truly humbled by the thought of being considered for this high honor," Robinson said.

If confirmed, Robinson will be a replacement for Justice Flemming Norcott Jr., who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 this fall. Norcott had been the only African-American justice on the court since Lubbie Harper Jr. also reached retirement age in 2012.

"Judge Robinson has been an attentive, measured jurist during his 13 years on the bench, making him an ideal candidate for the bench," Malloy said when he announced his nomination. "Serving on our state's highest court is an immense duty, as it is the final arbiter on issues that impact virtually every aspect of our lives."

Robinson was distinquished from a list of 20 contenders for his "intellect and a wealth of experience" that extends beyond the bench, Malloy said, including holding leadership positions with the NAACP and Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

"I am confident that the General Assembly will agree that having Judge Robinson on the Supreme Court will serve the people of Connecticut well," Malloy said. 

It marks Malloy's fourth nomination to the seven-member court during his tenure as governor. In addition to Harper, Malloy has nominated Andrew McDonald and Carmen Espinosa. McDonald, a long-time state lawmaker who had been serving as an aide to Malloy, is the first openly gay justice. Espinosa, who had been an Appellate Court judge, is the first Latina justice.

Given Malloy's record, members of affinity bar groups expressed hope in October, when Norcott reached the mandatory retirement date, that Malloy would choose as his replacement another member of a minority group.

At the time, judicial observers named Robinson as a possible front runner.

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