Beginning with its September 2009 term, the Connecticut Supreme Court has
voted to change its policy regarding how it hears cases. Most cases have
been heard by panels of five. The Court now will sit en banc - in panels of
seven - in all cases in which there are no disqualifications. When one
justice has recused him or herself from hearing a matter, the Court will sit
as a panel of six. If there are two disqualifications, the Court will sit as
a panel of five. In all death penalty cases, the Court will continue its
policy of sitting en banc. In those death penalty cases when an en banc
panel cannot be constituted from members of the Supreme Court, judges of the
Appellate Court will be requested to sit as determined on a rotational
The new policy recognizes that the public has an interest in having every
justice hear and decide every case, whenever possible. This will hopefully
strengthen the precedential value of each opinion. In addition, the new
policy eliminates any need to determine which justices sit on which cases,
thus eliminating the random selection of judges for each panel.
This policy is subject to review by the Court.