It was standing room only at the Vermont Supreme Court this morning as Justice Karen Carroll was sworn in to the Supreme Court. Justice Eaton kicked off the ceremony with a bit of history about the Vermont Supreme Court, introducing himself as the newest, but not for much longer, appointment to the Court. He then praised Justice Carroll for being easy to work with, funny and competent. He noted that she well understood that no one goes to a baseball game to watch the umpire, as court is all about the litigants.
Chief Justice Reiber next spoke, thanking the JNB and being particularly excited that Justice Carroll is a dedicated Red Sox fan. Justice Reiber said that it goes without saying that Justice Carroll embodies the 3 “P” qualities of being a good judge: being punctual, precise and prepared. But as an appellate judge, she also embodies the most important appellate judge qualities, described by US Supreme Court Justice Stevens, as being ever-curious, always learning on the job and searching for the right answer. He noted that Justice Carroll has it all: relatability, common sense, good judgment and unwavering service to the rule of law.
Governor Scott made his remarks next, noting that he was prepared to speak of 4 “C’s”, not 3 “P’s,” of a good hire, which are: character, competence, commitment and chemistry. He noted that it takes more than being qualified to make things run smoothly, and that Justice Carroll embodies the 4 “C’s” and will fit in well with the bench. While she was chosen based upon merit, as an imminently qualified candidate, he did remark how significant it was that the Court is now, for the first time in history, comprised in majority of female justices. He ended by congratulating her and stating that she undoubtedly has earned the appointment.
Justice Carroll, demonstrating her sense of humor, spoke using her soon to be utilized justice terminology: “regarding all of the flattering things that everyone has said, I concur.” She promised to take the oath and service very seriously and thanked her family, notably her husband and brother, and most particularly all the court staff, clerks, managers, officers and security that helped her perform her job over the years. She thanked everyone for coming and invited those who could attend to the reception to follow. A standing ovation erupted, led by Justice Robinson who enthusiastically sprang up causing the entire room to quickly rise to their feet.