The General Assembly confirmed the reappointment of two dozen Superior Court judges and trial referees Wednesday, including a handful who faced objections from litigants in contentious family court cases during confirmation hearings last week.
Toxic marriages, epic custody fights and an inner-city lawmaker’s willingness to antagonize colleagues and dress down family court judges seeking reappointment came together this week in an extraordinarily raw day of judicial confirmation hearings at the General Assembly.
A twisting path to reconfirmation for Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers reached its end with a 139-6 House vote Wednesday, but not before a Latina legislator accused Rogers of slighting the Supreme Court’s first and only Latina justice.
The bill was a compromise measure that grew out of contentious disputes about the state’s family court system. It passed the Senate and House unanimously.
Compromise legislation unanimously passed Friday night by the Senate and House would set new standards for the appointment of lawyers named by the courts as guardians to oversee the interests of minor children in divorce proceedings.
Some parents say the striking stories of custody cases gone bad are symptoms of a family court system in need of reform. But others involved in the system say wholesale change could undermine the system’s ability to protect the children caught in the middle.