Superior Court

Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

For the first time in recent memory, New Hampshire’s Executive Council voted not to confirm an attorney nominated to a seat on the state's Superior Court bench. The Republican councilors who voted not to confirm Dorothy Graham, a longtime public defender, said they did so because of her history defending individuals accused of crimes -- particularly sex crimes against children. As word spreads of the scuttled nomination, some among the state’s legal community are voicing concern.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The Executive Council confirmed the appointments of three new judges Wednesday, including two to the Superior Court.

The council unanimously confirmed New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission Chairman Amy Ignatius as one of the new additions to the Superior Court bench.

The council also confirmed two other judicial appointments: Manchester attorney Andrew Schulman to the Superior Court and Senior Assistant Attorney General Suzanne Gorman to the Circuit Court.

Governor Maggie Hassan says she’s pleased with the confirmations.

Oral arguments were heard Friday in a lawsuit which will determine if the state’s new education tax credit is constitutional. The state argues that for the tax credit to be considered unconstitutional, the judge has to consider first if directing money through a tax credit is the same as spending money in the budget. Next the judge will have to determine if because some parents use that money to send their kids to religious schools, does that violate the state’s constitution?