AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Senate acted swiftly to confirm to the state supreme court a judge who was responsible for innovations in drug treatment and mental health cases.

The Senate voted 26-1 Thursday to confirm Justice Wayne Douglas to the Supreme Judicial Court in the first floor session since his nomination was advanced by the Judiciary Committee.

Douglas presided over the York County Treatment and Recovery Court, which monitors treatment and supervision of people facing criminal charges who commit to addressing their substance use disorder and mental health issues.

Douglas also initiated a mental health docket in York County to expedite cases involving people experiencing mental health issues.

He told the Judiciary Committee that courts need to think constantly about ways to innovate and solve problems like backlogs and a shortage of public defenders.

He replaces Justice Thomas Humphrey, who retired last year from the Supreme Judicial Court. Maine judges serve seven-year terms.

The Associated Press

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