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The Mirror Crack’d Over 4th Term for Palmer.

Look at the CT Mirror’s piece on the narrow confirmation of Justice Richard Palmer for a startling example of advocacy dressed up as reporting. Palmer squeaked through the Senate Wednesday for a fourth term on the state’s high court on a 19-16 vote, with two Republicans voting with 17 Democrats to save the controversial justice’s nomination.

One telling sentence in the piece includes a reference to Palmer’s ugly footnote 69 accusation in the 2015 Richard Lapointe decision that Justice Carmen Espinoza had brought “dishonor” on the court. Mirror reporter Mark Pazniokas wrote, “Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, the Senate GOP leader, said his vote against Palmer was meant as a rebuke of what he saw as the unseemly criticisms of each other by Palmer and Justice Carmen Espinosa in an exchange intitiated by Espinosa in the death penalty [sic] case.” (Emphasis added.) No one produced the original Palmer footnote, not the one that appeared in the final opinion. The original Palmer footnote would have shed light on his unseemly attack on Espinoza and might have undermined his bid to end his career telling the citizens of Connecticut what are our standards of decency for next four years. It was not released to the public.

The Mirror piece also contends that Republicans were “second-guessing” court opinions. That sounds like a haughty pejorative, suggesting that judicial renominations do not entitle the legislature to review the body of a nominee’s work. ¬†Imagine the reaction if John Kissel and Craig Miner, the two Republican senators who joined with 17 Democrats to heave Palmer across the finish line, had not used International Women’s Day to ignore Palmer’s startling attack on Espinoza.

Note: Palmer is a member of the board of directors of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, a CT Mirror sponsor.