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Former prosecutor who resigned from Russia probe investigation tapped for CT Supreme Court post

FILE- Connecticut prosecutor Nora R. Dannehy gets into a cab after interviewing Karl Rove May 15, 2009 in Washington, DC. Rove was interviewed by Dannehy as part of a criminal investigation into the firing of U.S. attorneys during the Bush Administration.
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FILE- Connecticut prosecutor Nora R. Dannehy gets into a cab after interviewing Karl Rove May 15, 2009 in Washington, DC. Rove was interviewed by Dannehy as part of a criminal investigation into the firing of U.S. attorneys during the Bush Administration.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont nominated the state’s former top federal prosecutor to the Connecticut Supreme Court and said this time, he is confident his nominee will win legislative approval.

Nora R. Dannehy’s nomination was announced Friday. She served as U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, led the criminal prosecution of former Gov. John Rowland in 2004, and in 2020, resigned from a Trump administration probe into how the FBI reviewed alleged connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Dannehy, 62, said she has been fortunate to serve Connecticut in many ways for many years.

“I was born in Willimantic, Connecticut, and I am a graduate of Windham High School. I have served and worked professionally in Connecticut my entire career,” Dannehy said.

Dannehy has also worked as a deputy state attorney general for the state of Connecticut, and as the lawyer for Lamont's office. The governor said she had a well-respected reputation among lawmakers.

“Nora Dannehy is a person who knows what she knows, but you also know that she cares.” said Lamont, paraphrasing a quote from the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt. “She cares deeply about justice. She’s going to be an extraordinary associate justice on the Supreme Court.”

State lawmakers could vote on Dannehy’s confirmation as soon as Sept. 26, when the General Assembly holds a one-day special session.

Lamont's previous nominee to the state Supreme Court was Sandra Slack Glover, but she failed to secure a winning vote earlier this year by the legislature’s Judiciary Committee. Democrats questioned her commitment to reproductive rights, after state lawmakers raised questions about a letter she signed in 2017 supporting Amy Coney Barrett for a federal appeals court position. Barrett later helped to overturn Roe v. Wade as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Glover withdrew her name for consideration in May.

Lamont said he was confident Dannehy would win confirmation. However, some activists raised concerns that there are too many prosecutors on the state’s highest court.

“Just like a jury needs to contain a cross section of the community with different points of view, different backgrounds and different heritage, the judiciary should contain a cross section of views across the legal system, said Alexander Taubes, a civil rights attorney, and member of the People's Parity Project.

Dannehy thanked Lamont for the potential chance to serve on Friday.

“My heart is in public service,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.

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