- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Critics of Connecticut’s judicial system are gearing up to oppose the reappointment of Chase Rogers as the chief justice of the State Supreme Court.

Upset with operations at the family, foreclosure and probate courts, activists were expected to turn out for Rogers’ confirmation hearing on Friday before the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee. More than 200 detractors have signed an online petition, urging lawmakers to oppose her reappointment to a second eight-year term.

“Chief State Justice Rogers has failed our state and its citizens, families and children by presiding over and encouraging the operation of a court system which is operationally dysfunctional and unnecessarily antiquated, costly, time consuming and unlawfully political,” reads the petition posted on change.org.

One group, the Coalition for Connecticut Family Court Reform, has rented billboard space referring to Rogers. It also calls for passage of legislation this session that would impose changes on the family court system, including prohibiting the court from ordering supervised visitation except in certain circumstances and removing the immunity provided to guardians ad litem and attorneys for minors.

Despite the opposition, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is standing by Rogers, who was first appointed chief justice in 2007 by former Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

“We have opted to reappoint the Chief Justice - she has our full confidence as she continues to move the Judicial branch forward,” read a statement issued by Malloy’s administration.

James Joseph Connolly, a licensed psychologist in Waterford, submitted written testimony to the Judiciary Committee urging support for Rogers’ nomination. Connolly said he frequently provides evaluations and testimony in civil and criminal courts and credits Rogers with making beneficial changes to the family courts.

“The blustering accusations of a small cohort of angry and misguided disgruntled litigants may make it difficult for you to hear and appreciate the particular reform proposals that Chief Justice Rogers has proposed for the family courts of this state,” he wrote, adding how Rogers proposed using one judge, from start to finish, in divorce cases. He also credited Rogers with expanding the number of personnel to help with pre-judgment and post-judgment child custody issues and providing expedited divorce procedures for couples without children.

Attorney General George Jepsen said Rogers has proven to be “a skillful, fair, diligent and impartial jurist.” adding that she’s highly respected by her peers.

Following Friday’s hearing, the Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Rogers’ reappointment.

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