On the new WRNI political blog featuring Ian Donnis and Scott MacKay (ok, it’s not really a blog since comments are not allowed), MacKay reports that acting Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, Maureen McKenna Goldberg, will likely be named the first woman Chief Justice in the history of the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
Maureen McKenna Goldberg, an associate justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, appears headed for elevation to the chief justice position that has been vacant since the recent retirement of Chief Justice Frank Williams.
McKenna Goldberg, 58, of South Kingstown, would be Rhode Island’s first woman high court chief justice. The position is important not only because it would put McKenna Goldberg atop the state’s premier appellate court, but also because in Rhode Island the chief justice is the chief court administrator, in charge of judicial policy and a large network of patronage jobs.
Sources close to both House Speaker William Murphy, D_West Warwick and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, said yesterday that they both favor the elevation of McKenna Goldberg.
McKay also adds another twist to the story.
Governor Carcieri has control over the appointment, which is subject to retification by the General Assembly. In return, the General Assembly leadership is poised to approve Carcieri’s chief of staff, Brian Stern, to a state superior or district court judgeship.
Stern has applied for both a superior court judgeship and for the district court chief judge position that is vacant due to the death of Judge Albert DeRobbio. Stern has asked the state Ethics Commission for an opinion granting him an exemption from the state’s `revolving door’ law that bans legislators or top aides to the governor from immediately taking judgeships.