Metts calls on governor to appoint person of color to state Supreme Court
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Harold M. Metts today urged Gov. Gina M. Raimondo to appoint a person of color to the Rhode Island Supreme Court – the state’s highest bench, which has never had a minority justice.
In a letter sent today, Senator Metts asked the governor to make history by appointing a person of color to the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Justice Gilbert V. Indeglia, who announced earlier this year that he would step down in June.
“To my knowledge there has never been a person of color on the Rhode Island Supreme Court. This is a gross injustice and travesty. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied,’” wrote Senator Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence).
“The minority community still feels the pain from 2004, when then-governor Donald Carcieri said that he was not interested in making history, when the highly qualified O. Rogeriee Thompson, now on the federal bench, was a candidate for the Rhode Island Supreme Court and was denied the opportunity. Many from my community felt it was a slap in the face.
“As I have written to you before, the shortage of minority judges on the entire judiciary is troubling. Never having had any on the state’s highest court is entirely unacceptable. The numbers of minority judges was woefully low because of past discrimination. I appreciate your recent appointments, however, more needs to be done than replacing the one minority judge who retired and the two who passed away.
“More than making history, Rhode Island needs to do the right thing. Now is the time to correct this injustice and I urge you to appoint a person of color to this vacant Supreme Court judgeship.”
Senator Metts has been a vocal proponent of greater minority representation in the state’s courts, and has previously publicly urged the governor to select minority candidates for other judgeships.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903