Gov. Janet Mills on Friday swore in Wayne R. Douglas as an associate justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

York County Superior Court Justice Wayne Douglas Courtesy Photo

Douglas, 71, has been a superior court justice in York County since 2015.

“As an associate justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, I will carefully consider each case, treat all with courtesy and respect and administer justice in a fair and impartial manner, as I have done throughout my more than two decades on the bench,” Douglas said in a statement.

While he was a superior court justice,  Douglas presided over the York County Treatment and Recovery Court, which allows some individuals charged with drug-related crimes to defer their sentences in lieu of court supervision and treatment. He also launched a mental health docket in York County to more quickly resolve cases involving defendants experiencing mental health issues.

Douglas was first appointed as a district court judge in 2002 by then-Gov. Angus King. He had been King’s chief legal counsel before that. Prior to his public service, Douglas was in private practice at Pierce Atwood in Portland, one of the state’s largest law firms.

“The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will benefit from Justice Douglas’ sharp legal mind, measured temperament, and dedication to the fair and impartial administration of the law,” Mills said in a statement.

The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee endorsed Douglas in a 10-2 vote last month. He was opposed by two Republican committee members.

Douglas is a graduate of Bates College and the University of Maine School of Law. He lives in Old Orchard Beach.

During her tenure as governor, Mills has nominated five judges to the seven-member law court, including the current chief justice, Valerie Stanfill. The court hears appeals from superior, district and probate courts; oversees the Judicial Branch of government, setting policy and procedural rules for all state courts; and issues advisory opinions to the governor or Legislature when requested on “solemn occasions.”

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