Gov. Janet Mills on Monday announced nominations to fill two seats on the state’s highest court left open from retirements.

Superior Court Justice Andrew Horton Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Private attorney Catherine Connors, of Kennebunk, and current Superior Court Justice Andrew M. Horton were nominated to the post of Associate Justice.

The nominations are to fill vacancies left by Associate Justice Jeffrey Hjelm, who retired in December, and Associate Justice Donald Alexander, who is slated to retire at the end of this month.

Connors would be the first private attorney to join the court since 2014. She most recently practiced at the Pierce Atwood law firm, and has 42 years experience as an attorney in state and federal court.

Catherine Connors Photo by Ed Whitman courtesy of

Horton, of Falmouth, also has 42 years experience as an attorney, and has served previously as a judge at the District Court levels.

The appointments are Mills’ first to the state’s highest court.

Mills also announced two nominations to the Superior Court. Falmouth attorney Thomas McKeon has most recently practiced with the firm Richardson, Whitman, Large and Badger, and has 30 years experience as an attorney.

The second nomination elevates to the Superior Court current District Court Judge Stephen Nelson, of Houlton, who has 17 years experience as an attorney and judge in Aroostook County, and has served in the past as president of the Maine Bar Association.

All judicial nominations must be approved by the Legislature’s joint standing committee on the judiciary and must be confirmed by the Maine Senate.


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