Malloy nominates three judges to Supreme, Appellate courts

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has nominated two sitting Appellate Court judges to serve on state Supreme Court and a Superior Court judge to fill one of the seats left vacant in the Appellate Court.

Malloy on Wednesday nominated Judge Maria Araujo Kahn of Cheshire and Judge Raheem L. Mullins to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court, which is Connecticut's highest court. Both currently serve as judges on the Appellate Court. Malloy nominated Superior Court Judge William H. Bright Jr. to fill one of the vacancies created on the Appellate Court by the elevations of Kahn and Mullins.

"It is an honor to nominate two highly respected Appellate Court judges for elevation onto our state's highest court," Malloy said in a news release. "They both have had impressive careers, and during their time on the bench have become among our state's most respected jurists. Judge Kahn and Judge Mullins will serve the people of Connecticut well on the Supreme Court."

Kahn will fill the seat that was most recently held by Justice Carmen E. Espinosa, who elected to take senior status in July. Judge Mullins will fill the seat of Justice Dennis G. Eveleigh, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 on Monday.

"I am immensely grateful to Governor Malloy for the honor and the trust he has placed in me through this nomination," Kahn said in a prepared statement released by the governor's office. "I have devoted my career to public service and am truly humbled by the chance to continue to serve the people of Connecticut as a member of the Supreme Court. If confirmed by the General Assembly, I will work hard to prove worthy of that trust."

"I am honored and grateful for the trust Governor Malloy has demonstrated in me by nominating me to serve on the Supreme Court," Mullins said in the release. "It is a privilege to be nominated and, if confirmed by the legislature, I will faithfully discharge my duty to the people of the State of Connecticut."

Kahn was born in Angola and emigrated to the United States at age 10. She became a judge of the Superior Court in 2006 and primarily heard criminal matters in that position. In May 2017, Malloy nominated her to serve on the Appellate Court.

She served previously as a federal prosecutor, responsible for complex white-collar investigations and prosecutions, both civil and criminal, in the areas of health care fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud and trade secrets. She graduated from New York University cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in politics in 1986, and earned her Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law in 1989. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.

Mullins was nominated by Malloy in 2012 to serve as a judge of the Superior Court. He became an Appellate Court judge in 2014. Prior to his appointment, Mullins was a prosecutor for the Appellate Bureau, Division of Criminal Justice, in Rocky Hill, and an assistant attorney general in the Child Protection Division in Hartford. He worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Frederick L. Brown of the Massachusetts Appeals Court from 2004 to 2005.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Clark University in Worcester, Mass., in 2001 and his Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law in 2004.

Bright was confirmed by the General Assembly to serve on the Superior Court in March 2008. He served from 2003 to 2008 as a partner with McCarter & English LLP in Hartford, where he worked as a trial attorney and co-chair of the firm's business litigation group, representing large and small businesses and individuals in a wide variety of business disputes, including breach of contract, business torts, fraud, and intellectual property. From 1987 to 2003 he worked as an associate and partner with Cummings & Lockwood LLC in Hartford.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., in 1984, and graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago in 1987.

"Since 2008, Judge Bright has served on the Superior Court with distinction," the release from Malloy said. "He will bring with him a great amount of experience and competence to the Appellate Court."

"I am deeply thankful to Governor Malloy for nominating me to serve on the Appellate Court," Bright said in the release. "It is an absolute honor and privilege to have this opportunity. If confirmed by the legislature I will work hard every day to prove myself worthy of the Governor's trust."

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