HARTFORD, CT — For the first time in the three-decade plus history of the Appellate Court there would be more female than male judges if Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s two nominations on Tuesday eventually win confirmation.
Malloy nominated Superior Court judges Nina F. Elgo of West Hartford and Maria Araujo Kahn of Cheshire to serve as judges on the Appellate Court. Both will still need legislative approval.
Elgo and Kahn would fill vacancies created by the retirements of judges Herbert Gruendel and Robert E. Beach, Jr.
If approved, there would be five female and four male justices on the Appellate Court.
Malloy said that in his tenure as governor about 40 percent of his judicial appointments have been female.
The governor noted that “52 percent of the population is female and I think the judiciary should reflect the population, should look like the people of Connecticut.”
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said “the governor’s nominations not only bring two notable jurists to the Appellate Court system, but also mark a historic shift in the constitution of the bench.”
Elgo was first appointed to serve on the Superior Court in 2004. She is currently assigned to the civil division in the judicial district in Hartford. Her previous assignments include presiding judge of the statewide child protection session docket in Middletown, the juvenile division in the judicial district of New Haven, and the criminal division of Hartford and Enfield.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Connecticut College and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
“I am humbled by the governor’s confidence in me and the prospect of serving with my colleagues on the Appellate Court in service to the people of the state,” Elgo said. “If approved by the General Assembly, I will strive to prove worthy of that trust.”
Kahn was first appointed as Superior Court judge in 2006. She currently serves as co-chair of the Access to Justice Commission, as co-chair of the Limited English Proficiency Committee, as a member of the Sentence Review Division of the Superior Court, and as a mentor in the Judicial Mentor Program. She also is an adjunct professor at the Quinnipiac University School of Law.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University and her law degree from Fordham University.
“If confirmed by the legislature, I will work diligently to meet the challenges of this new position,” Kahn said. “I am truly humbled by this honor.”
Malloy said he hopes in coming days to make a number of other nominations to the Superior Court, though he said the state’s financial crisis will likely prevent him from filling all of the approximate 40 vacancies.