Governor Janet Mills announced today that she will nominate two candidates to Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court and two candidates to Maine’s Superior Court. Governor Mills will nominate attorney Catherine Connors of Kennebunk and Superior Court Justice Andrew M. Horton of Falmouth to Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court. Governor Mills will also nominate Stephen Nelson of Houlton, currently a District Court Judge, and attorney Thomas McKeon of Falmouth to the Superior Court.
“With vast experience, sharp intellect, and measured temperament, these nominees are of the highest caliber,” said Governor Mills. “I am confident that, with their wealth of legal knowledge and proven abilities, they will render fair and impartial justice to the people of our great state.”
Governor Mills will also nominate recently retired Justice Jeffrey Hjelm of Camden as an Active Retired Associate Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, and recently retired Justices Roland Cole of Wells and Nancy Mills of Cornville to serve as Active Retired Justices of the Superior Court.
The following are Governor Mills’ nominations to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court:
For Appointment as Associate Justice, Catherine Connors of Kennebunk. Attorney Catherine Connors has 35 years of experience handling a wide array of cases in both the Maine Supreme Court and federal appellate courts. Connors will be the first private practitioner to join the Court since 2014. She has practiced at the firm Pierce Atwood and is a graduate of Northwestern University and Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.
For Appointment as Associate Justice, Superior Court Justice Andrew M. Horton of Falmouth. Justice Horton has 42 years of experience as an attorney, District Court judge and Superior Court justice. He is also respected for his scholarship in writing or editing three law treatises. Justice Horton, who has been appointed by the three previous governors, is a graduate of Harvard College and Georgetown Law School.
Catherine Connors and Justice Horton are being nominated to succeed Associate Justice Jeffrey Hjelm, who retired last month, and Associate Justice Donald Alexander, who is retiring at the end of this month.
The following are Governor Mills’ nominations to the Maine Superior Court:
For Appointment as Justice, District Court Judge Stephen Nelson of Houlton. A native of Houlton, Judge Nelson has 17 years of experience as an attorney and judge in Aroostook County, as well as having served as a president of the Maine State Bar Association. Judge Nelson is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine and University of Maine School of Law. He is being nominated to succeed Superior Justice Harold Stewart who is moving to Cumberland County to fill one of the vacancies created by the retirements of Superior Court Justices Roland Cole and Nancy Mills.
For Appointment as Justice, Thomas McKeon of Falmouth. Attorney Thomas McKeon has nearly 30 years of experience practicing law with the firm Richardson, Whitman, Large and Badger as a counsellor, litigator and mediator. Mr. McKeon is a graduate of Colby College, Columbia University Teachers College and Boston College Law School, and is being nominated to fill one of the vacancies created by the retirements of Justices Cole and Mills.
The nominations of Connors and Horton are Governor Mills’ first appointments to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Last month, the Governor nominated attorneys Susan Driscoll and Jennifer Archer to the District Court, and reappointed Judges Kevin Stitham and John Lucy to the District Court. She also appointed District Court Judge Valerie Stanfill to the Superior Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice Lance Walker’s appointment to the federal bench and reappointed Justice Thomas Warren to the Superior Court. The Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary unanimously recommended to the Maine Senate confirmation of all six of these nominees.
All judicial nominations made by the Governor are subject to the approval of the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary and confirmation by the Maine Senate.