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Ceremonial Swearing-in of Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers: Introductory Remarks by Retired C.J. Ellen A. Peters

Justices and Judges, state and federal, officers of our state and federal government, family and friends: 

It is my great honor - and it gives me enormous pleasure - to welcome all of you here this afternoon. To this beautiful courtroom, to witness the ceremonial installation of Chase T. Rogers as the new Chief Justice, to preside over the Connecticut supreme court and to lead the Judicial Branch of the state of Connecticut. Our new Chief Justice is the 37th person to hold this high office since the adoption of our state constitution in 1818.

It is altogether fitting that a new Chief Justice take her oath of office here, in this courtroom . This ceremony will take place under the watchful eyes of her recent predecessors as Chief Justice. The portraits that you see all around you are those of all the Chief Justices who served in the latter half of the twentieth century. You may recognize some of us, but probably not the oldest. To your far right, which is the portrait of Chief Justice Patrick B. O'Sullivan, whose term of office ended in 1957, exactly fifty years ago.


Hon. Chase T. Rogers
Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers

This courtroom also is graced by the pictorial representation, at the back of the bench, of a much earlier event, the signing of the fundamental orders. The promulgation of the fundamental orders, three hundred seventy years ago, in 1638, marked the beginning of constitutional government in this state. Every day that the Chief Justice presides in this courtroom, she will be challenged to preserve this constitutional heritage.

Before introducing our governor to conduct the ceremonial swearing-in of Chief Justice Rogers, I want to add one more quasi-historical note, of more recent vintage. I cannot resist the feeling that somehow, somewhere, perhaps from her portrait in our State museum, another woman governor, Ella Grasso, Is looking down on these proceedings with a broad smile. That smile signals her enthusiastic approval of what has led to this day and what is about to take place. She changed our legal landscape, and here we are.

It is now my honor to introduce Governor M. Jodi Rell, who will perform the ceremonial swearing-in of Chief Justice Rogers. Governor Rell, after a distinguished career as a member of our Connecticut legislature, served as lieutenant governor for more than nine years, and was elected to begin her term as governor in January of this year. Throughout her long years of devoted service to this state, she consistently has manifested her strong support for the Judicial Branch. That support has taken many forms, none more important than her presence here today. It gives me great pleasure to welcome: Governor Rell.

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