Respected York County judge Wayne Douglas has been nominated to Maine's highest court - just as the county merges all district courts and one superior court into one location.
Justice Douglas has been nominated to the vacant seat on Maine's Supreme Judicial Court by Governor Janet Mills.
At a Zoom meeting between lawyers and judges, known as a bench-bar meeting, he acknowledged he has to "run the gauntlet" of the nomination process in Augusta. He is currently a judge at the York County Superior Court, which until later this year will be in Alfred. He also oversees York County's treatment court, which deals with drug addiction and mental health issues.
Justice Douglas was first nominated to be a district court judge by former governor Angus King, for whom he had been chief legal counsel, in 2002. After reappointment in 2010 he was elevated to the superior court by Governor Paul LePage in 2015. Before being on the bench he spent a decade in private practice. He is a graduate of Bates College and the University of Maine School of Law.
In a statement, he said he was "deeply humbled" by the nomination. He would replace the vacancy left by Associate Justice Thomas Humphrey who retired early last year as the seventh justice on the court. The vacancy has remained open since the spring.
Justice Douglas is well respected for his fairness and unflappable demeanor. York County's loss is the SJC's gain - and a little common sense will disappear from the county when he is elevated to the state's highest court.