Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday nominated Justice Thomas E. Humphrey, currently the chief judge of Maine’s Superior Court, to serve as an associate justice on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

If Humphrey’s nomination is approved, he will take the position of Justice Warren M. Silver, who resigned on Dec. 31.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is the state’s highest court and serves as the state’s appellate court. Its seven justices sometimes hear cases as a panel and vote on rulings. Other times single justices of the court will hear cases. The court is also the rule-making authority for the state’s lower courts.

“I am pleased to nominate Chief Justice Humphrey. He carries a distinguished record serving the Maine people well,” LePage said in a written statement Wednesday afternoon. “In choosing judges, my focus is on the qualifications, demeanor and integrity of the candidates, not politics. I have confidence Chief Justice Humphrey will continue to serve with the honor, integrity and reason he is known for.”

Humphrey’s nomination will next be reviewed by the Legislature’s Judicial Committee and must be confirmed by the full Senate for approval.

Humphrey was first admitted to practice law in Maine in 1976 and served in both private practice and as a prosecutor before being appointed in 1993 as a District Court judge. He was made a Superior Court justice in 1998 and has served as the chief justice of the Superior Court since 2004. In private practice, he was a partner at with the law firm Roberts, Shirley and Humphrey of Springvale. As a prosecutor, he worked for the York County District Attorney’s Office.

“I am thrilled and very honored to be nominated by Governor LePage,” Humphrey said in a statement released by the governor’s office. “And I am grateful to him for considering me for this important position. I look forward to working with the Legislature in the next stages of the appointment process.”

If his nomination is approved, Humphrey will join Chief Justice Leigh Saufley on the state’s high court and the five other associate justices – Justice Donald Alexander, Justice Andrew Mead, Justice Ellen Gorman, Justice Joseph Jabar and Justice Jeffrey Hjelm.

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @scottddolan

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