The Connecticut Legislature's Judiciary
Committee on Monday will begin consideration of Andrew J. McDonald as
the next chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.
If confirmed, McDonald would become the
nation's first openly gay chief justice.
McDonald, 51, already has made history
as the first openly gay member of the Connecticut Supreme Court as
well as the first to serve as a legislator.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated
McDonald for the court's top post in January. McDonald served as
legal adviser to Malloy when he was mayor of Stamford and later in
the governor's office. Malloy, a Democrat, nominated McDonald to the
Connecticut Supreme Court in 2013.
In comments to the Connecticut Post,
Malloy called McDonald “brilliant.”
“He's one of the smartest people I
have ever met,” Malloy
said. “All I ask is that he be judged on the answers to
questions and on what he's written. At the end, if there are
reasonable differences, so be it.”
Republicans in the state are pressing
for a delay in the appointment of a new chief justice until the next
governor takes office in 2019.
Other opponents include a website
called thefamilycourtcircus.com, which referred to McDonald's
nomination under the headline “Jewdicial Sodomites.” Christian
conservative Mat Staver, who helms Liberty Counsel, also attacked
McDonald's nomination, saying he's incapable of giving Christians a
“fair shake” in court.
“The question is: are you going to
get a fair shake out of this individual who identifies as someone
based upon his sexual practices, who is identified and identifies
himself based upon certain behavior?” Staver
said. “Are you gonna get a fair shake? I don’t think so.”
In an editorial published Sunday, the
Advocate pushed back on the argument that McDonald lacks the
“After five years, he is the
second-longest serving associate justice currently on the bench,”
editors wrote. “In addition to his election to local boards in
Stamford, he was a state senator, giving him valuable understanding
of municipal operations, as well as how the state machine works. It’s
also in his blood, as his mother, the late Anne McDonald, was a
well-respected longtime state representative. He is such a political
wonk that he listened to radio broadcasts of local government
proceedings as a boy.”