March 23, 2019
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LePage withdraws five judicial nominees three days before confirmation votes

Andrew Harnik | AP
Andrew Harnik | AP
Gov. Paul LePage attending a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence to discuss health care and tax reform in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Complex in Washington, Sept. 22, 2017.

Gov. Paul LePage has withdrawn his nominations of five sitting district and superior court judges who were scheduled to be confirmed Monday by the Maine Senate.

According to Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, officials from the LePage administration participated in hearings held by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, which recommended in favor of reappointing all five judges.

In letters to Gideon dated Oct. 20, LePage said he was withdrawing nominations for Superior Court Justices Robert E. Murray Jr. of Bangor, MaryGay Kennedy of Brunswick and Ann M. Murray of Bangor, and District Court Judges Bruce A. Jordan of Veazie and Susan E. Oran of Auburn.

LePage offered no reason for the withdrawals in the letters and his communications office did not immediately respond to a query on Sunday afternoon.

Gideon called the withdrawals “deeply troubling” because they came without explanation.

“All Mainers have the right to access the court system in a timely manner and this type of delay could affect the delivery of justice,” Gideon said in a written statement.

The Legislature convenes Monday for a special session to consider a number of items, including several confirmations of gubernatorial appointments.

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