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Candidates for Rhode Island high court narrowed to five

October 8, 2020 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The pool of candidates to fill a vacancy on the Rhode Island Supreme Court has been narrowed to five by the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission.

The five named Wednesday out of nine people interviewed are Superior Court Judge Melissa Long, Superior Court Judge Joseph Montalbano, state Sen. Erin Lynch Prata, attorney John Roberts and Superior Court Judge Kristin Rodgers, The Providence Journal reported.

The names will be forwarded to Gov. Gina Raimondo, who will nominate one of the finalists for a lifetime appointment subject to confirmation by the state legislature.

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The first vacancy on the state’s high court in a decade opened up with the announced retirement of Justice Gilbert Indeglia in June.

Long, was the only Black candidate among the interviewees and if appointed would become the first Black state Supreme Court justice. Roberts, if appointed, would be the first openly gay justice on the high court.