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Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Bysiewicz Statements on the Passing of Former Chief Justice Ellen Ash Peters

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz released the following statements regarding the passing of the Honorable Ellen Ash Peters. In 1978, Chief Justice Peters became the first woman appointed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, and in 1984 she became the first woman to serve as chief justice. She took senior status in 1996 and retired from the court in 2000.

Governor Lamont said, “Chief Justice Peters achieved many firsts. She’s the first woman professor to gain tenure at Yale Law School, the first woman justice to serve on the Connecticut Supreme Court, and the court’s first woman chief justice. She is a trailblazer, who in her nearly two decades of public service authored hundreds of opinions, many of which continue to have a lasting impact. Among those opinions is the landmark Sheff V. O’Neill decision, which extended civil rights to our schools, holding that the state has an obligation to provide school children with equal educational opportunities. Throughout her tenure, she dedicated her work to ensuring that Connecticut’s courts are operated fairly and are equally accessible to all of this state’s residents. Her service is to be emulated and she will be remembered for her intelligence, her tenacity, and her remarkable fortitude. On behalf of the State of Connecticut, I applaud and thank Justice Peters for her dedication to our state, and I express my condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues in the Judicial Branch.”

Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said, “Connecticut mourns the passing of a trailblazing female lawyer, law professor, and jurist on our state’s highest court who paved the way for women to excel in the legal profession. I had the privilege of knowing Chief Justice Peters since I was a child. She and my mother were friends and colleagues, both teaching law at Yale and UConn, and both becoming the first female law professors at their respective schools. She went on to again make history when the nation’s first female governor elected in her own right, Ella Grasso, selected her to become the first women appointed our Supreme Court, and then again when Governor William O’Neill appointed her chief justice. Chief Justice Peters was a prolific jurist who wrote more than 600 opinions during her 18 years on the Supreme Court. Her majority opinion in the Sheff v. O’Neill case paved the way for greater equity and opportunity in our state’s public schools. Her time on the court was guided by a belief in equal access for all, and an unwavering commitment to eradicating gender and racial bias across our state’s judicial system. Her legacy will live on in the hundreds of law students and clerks she mentored over her distinguished career. My heart goes out to her family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

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