In keeping with his commitment to diversity in the Judiciary, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy nominated Judge Carmen Espinosa to a vacancy on the Appellate Court.
Espinosa, 62, the first Hispanic judge appointed to the Superior Court bench in 1992 by then-Gov. Lowell Weicker, fills the vacancy Malloy created last month when he nominated Justice Lubbie Harper to the Supreme Court. Lubbie will fill the vacancy Malloy created when he nominated former Justice Joette Katz to head the Department of Children and Families.
But the musical chairs of judicial appointments will likely end there despite more than a dozen judicial vacancies in Superior Court.
“I don’t think I will be filling any more vacancies until we have a budget,” Malloy said.
Espinosa said her parents never could have fathomed as they traveled on a propeller airplane from Puerto Rico to New York that one day their youngest daughter would stand here today to be a judge on the second highest state court in Connecticut.
A graduate of Central Connecticut State University, Espinosa went onto get her masters degree in Hispanic Studies from Brown University and a law degree from George Washington University where she fell in love with litigation. But after graduating she became a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and later an assistant U.S. Attorney.
As a trial judge for the past 19 years she’s reached the conclusion that a majority of people that come into the courts “are better than the worst thing they have ever done,” she said. “But they have made mistakes, often with serious consequences and rightly been made to pay for them.”
“I want to thank Gov. Malloy for his commitment to diversity in our judiciary,” Espinosa said at the Capitol press conference. “Your historic appointment not only honors me, but also the Hispanic community.”
Espinosa will be the first Hispanic to serve on the Appellate Court.
“I want ultimately the trial court, the Appellate Court, the Supreme Court of the state of Connecticut to look like the rest of the state,” Malloy said.