Legislature Approves Espinosa as First Hispanic Supreme Court Justice


It’s all over but the formal swearing-in ceremony. Appellate Court Judge Carmen E. Espinosa will become Connecticut’s first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice after winning unanimous approval from both chambers of the General Assembly.
Her approval follows on the heels of her 40-0 approval by the legislature’s Judiciary Committee on Feb. 1. That was a largely congenial hearing with the legislators praising her. Senate committee co-chair Eric Coleman (D-2) called Espinosa, “a trailblazer and an inspiration.”
Espinosa, who is from Southington, joined the FBI after law school and then became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Connecticut. Throughout her career, leading up to this Supreme Court appointment, Espinosa advanced through a number of firsts: “In 1992, I was sworn in as the first Hispanic, and the first Hispanic female Superior Court judge in Connecticut. In 2001, I was appointed as the first Hispanic judge to sit on the Connecticut Appellate Court,” she said during her confirmation hearing.
Espinosa will become the only State Supreme Court Justice of Puerto Rican descent in all 50 states. The date of her swearing in is not known yet.
Before being appointed to the Appeals Court in 2011 by Governor Dannel Malloy, Espinosa previously presided over trials in the Judicial Districts of New Britain, Hartford and Waterbury. In addition to her duties on the bench, Espinosa has been involved in judicial education and for nine years served on the Judicial Branch’s Education Committee, which oversees all facets of continuing education for members of the judiciary. Over the years, she has been on the faculty of the Education Committee, teaching criminal law courses. Espinosa previously served on the Client Security Fund Committee and was also a member of the Sentence Review Division of the Superior Court.