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Stories about Connecticut

Keller appointed to Connecticut Supreme Court

On July 20, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) appointed appellate judge Christine E. Keller to the state supreme court. If confirmed by the Connecticut General Assembly, Keller will fill the vacancy created when former justice Richard Palmer reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in May 2020.
Keller has served on the Connecticut Court of Appeals since 2013 and previously served on the Connecticut Superior Court beginning in 1993. She is Lamont’s first appointee to the state supreme court. All six of the current justices on the seven-seat court were appointed by Governor Dan Malloy (D) during his tenure.
Nine of the 11 state supreme court vacancies that have occurred so far this year have been filled. 19 vacancies total set to occur this year have been announced.
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Filing deadline passes for congressional candidates in Connecticut, New Hampshire

On June 11 and June 12, the major-party filing deadline passed to run for U.S. Congress in Connecticut and New Hampshire, respectively. The Connecticut filing deadline had previously been June 9, but it was moved to June 11 by Governor Ned Lamont’s (D) executive order in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Connecticut, neither U.S. Senate seat is up for election this year. The incumbents for the state’s five U.S. House seats—John Larson (D) in District 1, Joe Courtney (D) in District 2, Rosa DeLauro (D) in District 3, James Himes (D) in District 4, and Jahana Hayes (D) in District 5—are all running for re-election. The primary for candidates who aren’t nominated via party convention is on August 11.

In New Hampshire, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) is running for re-election to her seat. The incumbents for the state’s two U.S. House seats—Chris Pappas (D) in District 1 and Annie Kuster (D) in District 2—are both running for re-election, as well. The state’s primary is on September 8.

Connecticut and New Hampshire’s statewide filing deadlines were the 46th and 47th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on June 24 in Rhode Island, and the final two statewide filing deadlines are in Delaware and Louisiana in July.

The national general election is on November 3, 2020. Entering the 2020 election, the U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Thirty-five out of the 100 U.S. Senate seats are up for election, including two seats up for special election. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. The U.S. House of Representatives has 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 U.S. House seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

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Candidate filing period ends for state executive and legislative offices in three states

The filing deadline has passed to run for state executive and legislative offices in Connecticut, Florida, and New Hampshire. The deadline passed for Connecticut on June 11. For Florida and New Hampshire, it passed on June 12.

Candidates filed for the following state executive and legislative offices:
  • Connecticut: State Senate (36 seats) and State House (151 seats)
  • Florida: State Senate (20 seats) and State House (120 seats)
  • New Hampshire: Governor, Executive Council (5 seats), State Senate (24 seats), and State House (400 seats)

The general election in each state is scheduled for November 3, 2020. The primary in Connecticut is scheduled for August 11, in Florida for August 18, and in New Hampshire for September 8.

Connecticut and New Hampshire’s statewide filing deadlines were the 46th and 47th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. Florida’s filing deadline for congressional and certain judicial offices passed on April 24, which was the 36th statewide filing deadline of 2020. The next statewide filing deadline is on June 24 in Rhode Island.

Connecticut and Florida have Democratic and Republican state government trifectas, respectively. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. New Hampshire has a divided government in which no party holds a trifecta.

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Filing deadline for state executive and legislative candidates to pass in CT, FL, and NH

The filing deadlines to run for elected state offices in Connecticut, Florida, and New Hampshire will pass in the next week. Connecticut’s filing deadline is on June 11, and Florida and New Hampshire’s filing deadlines are on June 12.

In Connecticut, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
  • State Senate (36 seats)
  • State House (151 seats)
In Florida, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
  • State Senate (20 seats)
  • State House (120 seats)
In New Hampshire, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
  • Governor
  • Executive Council (5 seats)
  • State Senate (24 seats)
  • State House (400 seats)

Connecticut’s primary is scheduled for August 11, Florida’s primary is scheduled for August 18, and New Hampshire’s primary is scheduled for September 8. The general election for all three states is November 3, 2020.

Connecticut’s, Florida’s, and New Hampshire’s filing deadlines are the 45th, 46th, and 47th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on June 24 in Rhode Island.

Connecticut has a Democratic state government trifecta, and Florida has a Republican state government trifecta. New Hampshire has a divided government, meaning no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

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Candidate filing period for congressional races to end in Connecticut and New Hampshire

The statewide major-party filing deadlines to run for congressional offices in Connecticut and New Hampshire are approaching. Connecticut’s deadline is on June 11, and New Hampshire’s deadline is on June 12. Connecticut’s major-party deadline was originally scheduled for June 9, but Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) issued an executive order extending it by two days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prospective candidates in Connecticut may file for the following congressional offices:
• U.S. House (5 seats)

Prospective candidates in New Hampshire may file for the following congressional offices:
• U.S. Senate (1 seat)
• U.S. House (2 seats)

Connecticut’s primary is scheduled for August 11, and New Hampshire’s primary is scheduled for September 8. Both states’ general elections are scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Connecticut’s filing deadline is the 46th and New Hampshire’s deadline is the 47th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on June 24 in Rhode Island.

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Connecticut Supreme Court justice to retire

On May 27, 2020, Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer stepped down from the court after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.

Palmer joined the Connecticut Supreme Court in 1993 after being appointed by Gov. Lowell Weicker and confirmed by the Connecticut General Assembly. Palmer was renominated and reconfirmed every eight years following.

Prior to joining the court, Palmer served as the chief state’s attorney for Connecticut from 1991 to 1993. From 1980 to 1982 and from 1987 to 1990, he was an assistant U.S. attorney for Connecticut. Palmer was in private practice from 1984 to 1986. He was a law clerk to Judge Jon Newman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Palmer received his undergraduate degree from Trinity College in 1972 and his J.D., with high honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1977. During his legal studies, he was a member of the Connecticut Law Review.

Palmer’s replacement will be Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) first nominee to the seven-member supreme court.

Under Connecticut law, state supreme court justices are selected using the assisted appointment method. Judges are selected by a commission-selection, political appointment method whereby a judicial nominating commission screens candidates and submits a list of names to the governor, who must appoint a judge from that list. The Connecticut General Assembly must then confirm the appointee. Judges serve for eight years. After that, they must be renominated by the governor and approved by the General Assembly to remain on the court.

Founded in 1784, the Connecticut Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort and has seven judgeships. The current justices are:

In 2020, there have been 13 supreme court vacancies in nine of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. The vacancies were caused by retirements. Eight vacancies are in states where a Democratic governor appoints the replacement. Four are in states where a Republican governor appoints the replacement. One vacancy is in a state where the state supreme court votes to appoint the replacement.

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Connecticut closes schools to in-person instruction for the remainder of the year

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) announced that schools in the state would remain closed to in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools in the state were closed to in-person instruction through May 20.
Forty-seven states have closed schools to in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year. Those states account for 97.6% of the 50.6 million public school students in the country. The three states that have not are: Maryland, Montana, and Wyoming.
Of the three states that have not announced that schools will close for the remainder of the year, one has a Republican trifecta and two have divided governments.


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