The National Rifle Association’s campaign to stop the nomination of former Bridgeport state Rep. Auden Grogins to the Superior Court bench failed Friday.
The NRA voiced opposition to Grogins’ nomination because, as a legislator, she voted in favor of stricter gun regulations following the Sandy Hook school shooting massacre.
“Auden Grogins is no friend of the Second Amendment, and who knows how far she would go with her anti-gun rhetoric as a Superior Court judge,” the NRA said in an email to its supporters.
Most of the 18 lawmakers who voted against Grogins’ nomination in the House received support from the NRA or more locally the Connecticut Citizens Defense League.
Grogins received the support of 125 of her former colleagues in the House. None of the 18 who voted in opposition stood up to speak against her nomination.
In the Senate, 30 Senators voted in favor of her nomination, four Republican Senators voted against it, and only one stood up to explain his “no” vote. That lawmaker was Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington.
Markley said the most important thing when “considering somebody’s capacity and commitment to serve as a judge is their respect for the constitution.”
Markley continued: “If we take the constitution as a unit and the explicit rights that are granted to us under the constitution as being of equal value to all of us and equal importance for a judge to respect, I would be no more inclined to support somebody whose commitment to the Second Amendment I held in question, as I would to somebody’s commitment to the First Amendment.”
But those who supported her nomination said it was her experience as a lawmaker that will make her a great judge.
Republicans like Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, said he has confidence that Grogins can differentiate between her role as a lawmaker and her role as a Superior Court judge.
Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, said that Grogins, as a solo practitioner with an active civil and criminal law practice, probably recused herself from votes more than anyone he can remember.
“She had an active and vibrant practice and she came to every Judiciary Committee issue dedicated to the majesty of the law,” Kissel said.
Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, said the Judiciary Committee received testimony both in favor and against Grogins’ nomination and they vetted it all.
“I found her to be very fair, open and straightforward in her responses,” Rebimbas said. “I also found her to be very fair in what type of judge she would be. She understands the difference in her service as a state representative and as an attorney.”
She said Grogins understands what it means to be a judge and that a judge should not be advocating any personal positions or any positions shared by anyone other than the letter of the law and the parties before the judge.