With Republicans suggesting they may oppose Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s last class of nominations to the Superior Court, the governor made two unexpected additions Friday, including the chief counsel to Senate Republicans.
Jennifer Macierowski of Windsor, the Senate GOP’s director of research and top legal adviser, and Norma I. Sanchez-Figueroa of South Windsor were nominated as trial judges, signaling either a complication or a solution to Malloy’s challenge of winning confirmation for 32 nominees in the final 10 days of the legislative session.
The other 30 had confirmation hearings Monday, followed by the Judiciary Committee voting to recommend the confirmation of 29, deferring action on the 30th, Francis O’Reilly. He has withdrawn from consideration.
Malloy said Friday he has no deal with legislators over confirmation. The two late nominations came, he said, in response to O’Reilly’s withdrawal and notice of another retirement by a judge, Antonio C. Robaina.
“Unless those two things had happened, we would not be doing this, period,” Malloy said.
Robaina’s retirement came as the legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus complained that Malloy, who has increased racial diversity on the bench and nominated the first black chief justice to the Supreme Court, included too few minorities in his last group of nominees.
“He is a Hispanic member of the bar, of the judiciary,” Malloy said of Robaina. “And I thought given all the issues … it was appropriate to nominate another highly qualified Hispanic individual to the court.”
Sanchez-Figueroa, a family-support magistrate since 2011 in the state court system, is a graduate of Brandeis and Boston College Law School.
Republicans have suggested they might oppose all the nominations by Malloy, who is leaving office in January, over budgetary concerns.
A spokeswoman for Senate Republican leader Len Fasano said the nomination was not the result of a deal.
Fasano issued a statement:
“I thank the governor for recognizing Jennifer Macierowski as an excellent nominee who upholds the integrity, respect and commitment we seek in all our judges. Jennifer is one of the most talented attorneys I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”
Macierowski is a graduate of Amherst College and the University of Connecticut School of Law.