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The Life And Promise That Comes With Being Connecticut's Chief Justice

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Ryan Caron King
/
WNPR
Richard A. Robinson - Chief Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court.

The significance of being confirmed as Connecticut's first African-American state Supreme Court chief justice last May didn't fully sink in for Richard A. Robinson until a class of mostly minority students recently showed up to the Hartford court building for a tour.

Robinson came down from his office to give a presentation to the children packed in the courtroom gallery.

"You would have thought Barack Obama had walked in," he recalls during our initial call leading to today's show. "You could just sense a change in the room."

The class wanted to know when his portrait would be going up on the wall next to the all-white chief justices who served before him. Robinson says he believes he opened many young eyes to how bright their futures could become.

Robinson's goals as the new head of the Connecticut Judicial Branch center around working toward a time when everyone who enters a courthouse's doors, regardless of their background, is confident they will receive equal justice under the law.

In his spare time, he's a 4th-degree black belt in the Tang Soo Do martial arts. He's also fluent in Middle English.

We talk to him about his life as chief justice and how he got there.

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Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on January 31, 2019.

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