Malloy swears in new state Supreme Court chief justice

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HARTFORD -

Gov. Dannel Malloy on Monday officially swore in Richard A. Robinson as the Connecticut Supreme Court's newest chief justice.

Robinson, a Stamford native currently living in Stratford, is the state's first African-American chief justice.

"We have made great progress during my 60 years on Earth," Robinson said. "However, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 'human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable.'"

Robinson was unanimously confirmed last month by the state Legislature. He was Malloy's second pick for the position after Stamford's Andrew McDonald, who would have been the first openly gay chief justice in United States history. State lawmakers rejected McDonald after a bitter fight marked by accusations of homophobia.

Robinson is the former head of the Stamford NAACP. William Tong, the state's first Asian-American attorney general candidate, said Robinson's swearing in is a huge step forward.

"I think it says that we mean it when we talk about criminal justice reform," he said. "We talk about taking on a system of mass incarceration."

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