By Wayne Jebian
Carmen Espinosa is now the first Hispanic Connecticut Supreme Court Justice. She is one of only eight Latino state supreme court justices in the United States and the first Puerto Rican. She was sworn in by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Here are some of the sentiments shared during the ceremonial 30-minute swearing-in held in front of a standing room only audience at the State Capitol.
(Please click to see our complete photo gallery from the historic event.)
“This is another glass ceiling broken by the Latino community in the state of Connecticut.”
State Sen. Andres Ayala (D-Bridgeport)
“I feel proud, so proud. She is a wonderful girl, a wonderful daughter.”
Amada Espinosa, who brought the then three-year old Carmen to the United States from Puerto Rico.
“I was so very, very proud to elevate her from one court to another court and now to a third court. It is a great pleasure to be celebrating her swearing-in today. It cannot go without saying that she has been a trailblazer. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, the first Hispanic judge to serve in the Superior Court, the first Hispanic Judge to sit on the Appellate Court, and now has become the first Hispanic Justice on the Supreme Court.”
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
“In addition to her outstanding legal skills, Justice Espinosa brings a unique perspective to the court.
She was one of the first women hired as a special agent for the FBI. In addition to her outstanding legal skills, Justice Espinosa brings a unique perspective to the court. Quite simply, she has spent a lifetime opening doors.”
Connecticut State Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase Rogers
“In part, the day is a celebration of the ascension to the Supreme Court of a daughter of Puerto Rico. It is a moment for the general community and the Puerto Rican community, the Hispanic community, to express its appreciation and thanks to the Governor and the General Assembly. It is ‘Hora buena’, a happy, opportune time for her, for her family, and for her many friends and admirers, for the state courts of Connecticut, and for our country. An ‘Hora Buena’ for us all.”
Judge Jose Cabranes, 2nd Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals
“On a personal note, when I look out this morning onto this audience, I see a mosaic of my life. The centerpiece, of course, is my beloved family … I love you more than anything.” The Hispanic community wants to celebrate successes, just like any other community. There are those of us who are visible, like our esteemed legislators and representatives, our media people that are here, that have succeeded over the years as well … But there are many more that toil for their families in a private way, working hard and succeeding in giving their children a better life, just like my parents did for their children. But for the education I received at great public schools and at Central Connecticut State University, I would not be standing here today. I have said many times that education is the key to success. These are not just words; I am living proof of that.””It is my hope that my appointment to the Supreme Court inspires our children to stay in school, work hard, and to grasp beyond their reach, and to believe that anything is possible regardless of your socioeconomic condition. So to the young people of our state, who might wonder if they could ever become a judge, or a chief executive officer, a governor, my answer to them is, ‘Yes, you can.’”
Supreme Court Justice Carmen Espinosa