Richard Robinson has been sworn in as Connecticut’s next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is the first African American to hold the post.
Robinson takes over from Chase Rogers who is retiring from the bench.
After his swearing in, addressing a crowd of about 200 colleagues, family and supporters, he spoke of the racism he’s encountered in his professional life, saying after he graduated law school 33 years ago, it was hard for him even to get hired to his first position.
"My life is bookended by the horror of the killing of 14 year old black child Emmett Till, and the election of our first black president, Barack Obama," he noted. "Make no mistake about it, this country is a much, much better place than it used to be -- when I think of the fact that at the time of my birth it was at best improbable, if not an impossible dream for my parents ever to believe that their son would become an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Stamford, a superior court judge, the fifth African American ever to sit on the appellate court, the fourth African American to sit on the Supreme Court, and now the first African American to sit as Chief Justice."
Robinson was appointed after a contentious fight over Governor Dannel Malloy’s first choice. Malloy had nominated Justice Andrew McDonald, but Republicans in the legislature rejected his nomination.