MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Gov. Phil Scott announced Friday that he has appointed Superior Court Judge Nancy Waples, the first woman of color, to serve on the Vermont Supreme Court.
Waples, of Hinesburg, will replace Justice Beth Robinson, who was appointed by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a seat on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“As I have said, there are few responsibilities a governor has that are more significant than naming a justice to the Supreme Court,” Scott said in a written statement. “Character, competence, commitment, and chemistry are the qualities I seek when deciding on an appointment. There is no doubt Judge Waples possesses these attributes and will excel on the Court.”
Judge Waples’ parents fled the communist revolution in China and because of ethnic quotas only her father could immigrate to the United States at first and the family was separated for four years, the governor’s office said. Later the family earned a living working in their small Chinese restaurant outside of New York City.
“My parents traveled halfway around the world with literally nothing more than the clothes on their backs to live in a place that didn’t speak their language, where they didn’t have any friends or family,” Waples said in a statement. “They came here seeking greater opportunities and longed for a life of dignity and decency. They share my pride in receiving this historic appointment.”
After graduating from the St. John’s University School of Law, Waples worked as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in New York City. In Vermont, she has served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the federal prosecutor’s office and worked in private firms before being appointed a superior court judge.
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