The Maine State Senate confirmed Valerie Stanfill as the chief justice of Maine’s highest court on June 3. Gov. Janet Mills (D) appointed Stanfill to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on May 10 to fill a vacancy created when former Chief Justice Leigh Saufley retired in April 2020. The Maine State Senate was required to confirm Stanfill’s appointment.
Stanfill previously served on the Maine Superior Court from February 2020 until her confirmation to the supreme court. She served on the Maine District Court from January 2007 to February 2020. Stanfill’s career experience before becoming a judge included working as an acting director with the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, a visiting clinical professor of law with the University of Maine School of Law, and an attorney in private practice.
Stanfill earned a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Maine School of Law.
Stanfill joins six other justices on the seven-member court:
• Catherine Connors – appointed by Gov. Janet Mills (D) in 2020
• Ellen Gorman – appointed by Gov. John Baldacci (D) in 2007
• Andrew Horton – appointed by Gov. Mills in 2020
• Thomas Humphrey – appointed by Gov. Paul LePage (R) in 2015
• Joseph Jabar – appointed by Gov. Baldacci in 2009
• Andrew Mead – appointed by Gov. Baldacci in 2007
In 2020, there were 23 supreme court vacancies in 16 of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. So far in 2021, there have been 11 supreme court vacancies in nine of those 29 states.