Gov. won't withdraw chief justice nomination despite GOP's block - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Gov. won't withdraw chief justice nomination despite GOP's blocking

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Andrew McDonald would be the first openly gay leader of Connecticut's Supreme Court. (Gov. Malloy's Office) Andrew McDonald would be the first openly gay leader of Connecticut's Supreme Court. (Gov. Malloy's Office)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

On Monday afternoon, Gov. Dannel Malloy said despite the GOP's blocking of his choice for Supreme Court chief justice, he will not withdraw his nomination.

Earlier this month, the state’s House of Representatives approved Andrew McDonald to lead the state judiciary, by one vote.

McDonald is Malloy’s pick to become chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court.

If elected, he would be the first openly gay state chief justice in the country.

Democrats and Republicans have been sparring over the nomination for months.

McDonald garnered a tie vote by a legislative committee, which put his chances in jeopardy. The vote sent the nomination to the rest of the General Assembly with an "unfavorable" recommendation.

After the House of Representatives approved the nomination, the vote went to the Senate for the vote. That decision was expected to be made before the end of the month, however republicans said they would vote against this.

On Monday, it was learned that Republican Senate Majority Leader Len Fasano had convinced all 18 GOP senators to vote against the appointment of McDonald.

If all of the Republicans follow through during Tuesday’s vote, they would indeed be able to block the appointment as one Democratic Senator Gayle Slossberg has already announced that she will recuse herself from voting. 

Fasano and other Republicans say they have ethical issues with McDonald and that he is an activist judge who should have recused himself from certain cases especially regarding the death penalty.

"This is not about politics this is about policy.  Where does Justice McDonald’s decisions lead one to conclude the drifting of the Supreme Court and that is where I have some problems with so of the things," Fasano said.

Malloy says Republicans are playing politics with the appointment in part because they have issues with him and because some may have problems with the fact that McDonald is openly gay.

“I think that part of it may be addressed to me part of it may address to the fact that they don’t like opinions he wrote part of it may be addressed to the fact that there are people who don’t believe that gay people should be on the Supreme Court,” Malloy said.

Republicans have said McDonald’s sexuality has nothing to do with this, pointing out that McDonald was openly gay when he was appointed as an associate justice.

On Monday afternoon, Malloy expressed his disappointment, and said he would not withdraw his nomination.

If the Senate rejects McDonald's nomination, Malloy will have five days to nominate someone else.

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