AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage announced Thursday he is reappointing the state’s top judge, Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, to a historic third term.

Her term was set to expire at the end of February.

Saufley, who was first appointed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 1997 by independent Gov. Angus King, is the state’s first female chief justice and holds the distinction of being the youngest person to ever be appointed chief justice.

“The highest standards of integrity both professionally and personally are required of our judges and justices,” LePage said in a prepared statement. “Chief Justice Saufley has demonstrated these qualities and is widely admired in the judiciary. I have confidence that she will continue to prove to be a great chief justice.” 

Saufley is a University of Maine at Orono graduate and a 1980 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. She was first appointed to the bench in 1990 when then Gov. John McKernan appointed her to a district court post.  

Saufley was first sworn in as chief justice in December 2001 and sworn in for her second term in February 2009, according to Saufley’s online biography posted on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s website.

According to her biography, Saufley is a member of the Conference of Chief Justices, the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Women’s Forum’s Women Who Make a Difference Award.


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