Connecticut high court nominee who supported Amy Coney Barrett withdraws

·2 min read
FILE - Members of the Supreme Court sit for a new group portrait following the addition of Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, at the Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 7, 2022. Bottom row, from left, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Top row, from left, Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A nominee to Connecticut’s highest court withdrew her name from consideration Friday after state lawmakers raised questions about a letter she signed in 2017 supporting Amy Coney Barrett for a federal appeals court position.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont released a statement saying Sandra Slack Glover had notified him of her decision to step aside. His announcement came four days after his nominee, a federal prosecutor with no judicial experience, appeared at a confirmation hearing before the Democratic-controlled Judiciary Committee. In an unusual move, the panel had held off from voting on her confirmation.

Throughout the week, it become increasingly doubtful Glover had enough support to clear a vote of the committee, despite urgings by the Lamont administration.

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“Attorney Sandra Slack Glover would have been an extraordinary justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court" Lamont said in a written statement. “I stand by that, and I stand by her as a lawyer of experience, character, and compassion, while respecting her decision today to withdraw from consideration.”

Email and phone messages were left seeking comment with Glover. Lamont said he will consider other candidates who share his “values” and who are “dedicated to the principles of justice equality and fairness under the law” in the coming months.

In January, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, also had to find a replacement for her nominee to lead the state's highest court after he was rejected by a state Senate panel. The vote came after weeks of criticism from progressive activists and union officials about the judge’s record.

Glover tried to assure Connecticut lawmakers that she would not have signed the 2017 letter if she knew Barrett would later vote to overturn Roe v. Wade abortion protections as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Glover had said she wasn’t “going to demonize” Barrett, “but when I look at that letter now ... I’m no longer comfortable with some of those statements.

“But I also believed, clearly naively at this point, I thought there were guardrails,” she said, referring to judges’ respect for legal precedents. “And I thought the lower court judges were constrained. I thought the Supreme Court was constrained. And I was wrong. And looking back and knowing what I now know, I shouldn’t have signed it.”

Glover said she was a firm supporter of abortion rights, from the perspectives of both a woman and a lawyer. Besides her position on Roe vs. Wade, lawmakers questioned her lack of experience as a judge.

“Attorney Sandra Slack Glover faced a thorough vetting from the Judiciary Committee and many members felt there were unanswered questions that put her confirmation in jeopardy,” said Rep. Steve Stafstrom, D-Bridgeport, the committee co-chairman. “While Attorney Glover is an experienced prosecutor and talented attorney, I respect her decision to withdraw her name from consideration to become a justice of our highest court.”