Gov. Dannel P. Malloy nominated two judges to the Appellate Court and 16 attorneys to the Superior Court on Friday in what could be his last round of judicial nominations.
“Do I anticipate this is near the end, or the end, for the current legislative session? The answer is yes,” Malloy said Friday at a press conference outside his Capitol office.
Malloy has not said whether he will seek re-election and it’s rare for judicial nominations to be made when the legislature is not in session, even though it does happen.
When Malloy took office he sought to make the diversity of the bench a top priority. Former Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell was criticized toward the end of her tenure by lawmakers for the lack of racial diversity on the bench. In 2010, lawmakers held up the appointment of nine white judges in protest of her nominations. The administration and lawmakers eventually struck a deal and the nominees eventually received legislative approval.
Malloy made his first nomination to the bench more than a month after his inauguration in 2011. He elevated Lubbie Harper, who has since retired, to the Supreme Court. Harper filled the vacancy created by the departure of Joette Katz, who was nominated by Malloy to the Department of Children and Families.
“I would like to see more diversity and we are starting to see more diversity in the groups that I can consider for a nomination,” Malloy said Friday.
During his tenure Malloy has appointed or elevated 12 women to the bench, in addition to a number of minorities.
On Friday, he nominated Judge Eliot Prescott of West Hartford and Judge Raheem Mullins of Cromwell to the Appellate Court.
Anthony Avallone of New Haven, Timothy Bates of Noank, Leo Diana of Manchester, Steven Ecker of New Haven, Tammy Geathers of Bloomfield, Jane Grossman of Hamden, Irene Prosky Jacobs of West Haven, Ingrid Moll of West Hartford, John Moore of West Hartford, Kevin Murphy of Berlin, Robert Nastri Jr. of Cheshire, Cesar Noble of West Hartford; Rupal Shah Palanki of West Hartford; Kevin Russo of Shelton, Steven Spellman of Noank, and Erika Tindill of New Haven were all nominated to the Superior Court bench.
Even with the elevation of Prescott and Mullins to the Appellate Court there will still be 10 vacancies that will go unfilled based on a lack of funds.
In addition, Malloy nominated Thomas Mullins of Farmington to the Workers’ Compensation Commission, and Gladys Idelis Nieves of New Haven and Wayne Kenney of Greenwich to Family Support Magistrate positions.