After Governor Rell nominated Judge Barry Schaller to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Borden (Courant opinion piece here), she nominated Judge John Downey to replace him on the Appellate Court. Judge Downey has not been popular and has some problems. Aside from his endorsement of Throm Sturmond, he asked if a man killed in an accident was here in the US legally – after hearing his name.
Attorney Brenden Leydon, representing the man’s estate, told Downey he believed so and stressed that issue had not been raised by anyone involved in the case.
“Well, it might be an issue in Judge Downey’s courtroom,” Downey stated on Sept. 11, 2006. He went on to say, “I presume that he was duly authorized [to sue] as a person here having the appropriate documentation, because I think citizens and people here validly have a right to use the court system and those who are here illegally do not.”
But the courts disagree with the judge’s opinion, which is guaranteed to prompt inquiries at his confirmation hearing before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, who co-chairs the committee, said Downey’s statement was “alarming.”
“The quote contained in the transcript is a jarring proposition for a judge to make and certainly raises substantial questions about Judge Downey’s understanding of the law in Connecticut,” said McDonald, who is a lawyer. “The issue of whether someone is in this state legally has little or no bearing on a civil action, particularly in this case, where the person had died and it was their estate bringing the action.”
Indeed. Peter at Undercurrents has more.