In a previous post I discussed the State of Connecticut’s motion asking the Connecticut Supreme Court to reconsider its controversial decision in Lapointe v. Comm’r of Correction. I have just learned that, by order dated May 5, 2015, the Supreme Court denied that motion. The two justices who dissented from the original decision–Zarella and Espinosa–would have granted the motion for reconsideration. In short, the votes on the motion tracked the votes on the original decision.
Last Friday the State filed a motion asking the Connecticut Supreme Court to reconsider, en banc, its 4-2 decision in Lapointe v. Comm’r of Correction, which generated four opinions: the majority opinion (Palmer, J.), a concurring opinion (Rogers, C.J.) and two dissents (Espinosa, J. and Zarella, J.). The case has generated considerable controversy for several reasons, including the unjudicial tone of some of the opinions and footnotes and, perhaps more importantly, the majority’s resolution of the case based on an issue that was neither briefed nor argued.
In the wake of our state Supreme Court’s decisions in Blumberg Associates Worldwide, Inc. v. Brown & Brown and State v. Elson, I expressed a fairly strong opinion on this blog that those decisions reflected a growing–and troubling–trend in which the Court was increasingly invoking its “inherent supervisory powers over the administration of justice” to justify its decisions.
When I posted my opinions on this blog, I knew a number of members of the bar shared my concerns. I also suspected some members of the bench did so as well. As of last week, those suspicions are, well, no longer suspicions. It appears that at least three members of the Supreme Court–Justices Zarella and Espinosa, and Senior Justice Vertefuille–are thinking harder about just when and how the Court should invoke its inherent supervisory powers.