Douglas to name new chief justice on Wednesday

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas will announce this afternoon his candidate to be chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court. Douglas will be filling the vacancy that occurred when former Chief Justice Jeffery Amestoy stepped down from the court earlier this year.

Speaking Tuesday night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Douglas said this appointment is one of the most important decisions he’ll ever make as governor:

(Douglas) “This is arguably one of the most important – perhaps the most important – responsibilities in terms of appointments of any governor because it’s a choice that will last well beyond not only my tenure but perhaps several governors to come.”

(Host) Douglas said he’s selected a person that he thinks will help unify the court in the future:

(Douglas) “I don’t think it’s a secret things haven’t always been cordial and collegial in the chambers of the Supreme Court in some recent years. So it’s important to find someone who can bring the justices together and make sure they function in an appropriate and collegial way. It’s also important to find someone who is intelligent, who is articulate and who has good understanding of the law and can articulate that in terms of written opinions. So I believe I have such a person.”

(Host) The new Chief Justice will need to be confirmed by the Senate in January.

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