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Sandra Slack Glover withdraws as CT Supreme Court nominee

Sandra Slack Glover testifying Monday. Watching were her husband, Eric Glover, and their sons.
Mark Pazniokas
CT Mirror
Sandra Slack Glover testifying Monday. Watching were her husband, Eric Glover, and their sons.

Sandra Slack Glover withdrew Friday as Gov. Ned Lamont’s nominee for the state Supreme Court, unable to overcome legislative questions about her commitment to upholding Connecticut’s strong reproductive rights laws.

Glover, 52, the appellate chief for the U.S. Attorney of Connecticut, was wounded by a letter she signed in 2017 on behalf of Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative destined to play a pivotal role in ending a woman’s federal right to an abortion.

Lamont is not expected to make another nomination before the General Assembly’s annual session ends on June 7.

The withdrawal came four days after the legislature’s Judiciary Committee declined to vote on her nomination Monday night, unswayed by her strong defense of abortion rights during an arduous seven-hour hearing.

Glover spoke forcefully of her belief that the U.S. Supreme Court erred in discarding the reproductive rights established in 1973 by Roe v. Wade in its 6-3 decision last year in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

“Speaking as an attorney, Dobbs was wrong, and egregiously so,” Glover said. “Speaking as a woman, it was horrifying. All of us should have a constitutional right to control our reproductive freedom and our bodies. My belief in this is firm and unwavering.”

The next day, legislators said they saw no path to her confirmation. The Lamont administration took the rest of the week before drawing the same conclusion, though it left the final decision to the nominee.

The problematic Barrett letter arose from an exercise in comity. In the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1998-1999 term, Glover and Barrett were colleagues as holders of prestigious clerkships: Glover for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the court, and Barrett for Antonin Scalia, the conservative icon.

With every other clerk from that term, including those who served justices of the court’s liberal bloc, Glover signed a letter urging Barrett’s confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Barrett was confirmed to the lower court and then in 2020 to the highest court as Donald J. Trump’s choice to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In January 2017, Glover joined the Women’s March on Washington, protesting the election of Trump as president.

Her attendance at the march cut two ways with lawmakers at the hearing. Sen. Ceci Maher, D-Wilton, asked how a woman who marched in January 2017, evidently concerned about what a Trump administration might do to undermine the rights of women, could then have signed a letter four months later on behalf of a Trump nominee, Barrett.

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