A judge who is originally from Massachusetts is nominated to become the first Black justice on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
On Monday, Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced that she would nominate District Court Judge Rick Lawrence to serve on the state’s most powerful judicial body.
If confirmed, Lawrence, a Harvard Law School and Yale graduate who is from Great Barrington, would become the state’s first Black supreme court justice.
"I’m so excited," said Mills during a Friday media event, unrelated to Lawrence’s nomination.
"Everybody thinks so highly of him," added Mills.
Lawrence has served as a district court judge in Maine since 2000 when he was first nominated to the position by then-Gov. Angus King.
He has since been re-nominated by governors of both parties including Paul LePage, a Republican, who is seeking a third non-consecutive term in office in 2022.
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"He received rave reviews from everybody, from prosecutors, civil litigators and clerks. If the clerks like you, you’re a pretty good judge and person," noted Mills, a Democrat.
NECN/NBC 10 Boston attempted to reach out to Lawrence through the State of Maine Judicial Branch to request an interview on Friday but that effort was unsuccessful.
However, the Mills administration’s announcement of his nomination included a statement from him that reads:
“I am deeply honored by Governor Mills’ nomination to serve on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, a nomination that comes with formidable responsibility and unparalleled opportunity to serve the people of our great state. If confirmed by the Legislature, I promise to work tirelessly to serve the people of Maine and to administer justice fairly and impartially to the people of Maine, just as they deserve.”
Based on state law, a committee of Maine legislators and the state’s full Senate are likely to vote on Lawrence’s confirmation within the next few months.