Senate Republicans voted as a bloc Tuesday to deny the confirmation of Andrew J. McDonald as chief justice of Connecticut Supreme Court, stopping the ascent of a political and legal trailblazer for the gay community, a factor that opponents insisted was irrelevant and supporters said could not be ignored. Sen. Joan Hartley of Waterbury was the lone Democrat to vote against McDonald’s confirmation, which failed 19 to 16.
Senate Republican leader Len Fasano informed Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Monday that all 18 GOP senators intend to vote Tuesday against the confirmation of his friend and former legal adviser, Andrew J. McDonald, as chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. With the recusal of one Democratic senator in the evenly divided Senate, the GOP has a majority of 18-17 on the question of whether McDonald would be confirmed as the first openly gay chief justice of the highest court in any state.
By a single vote on Monday, the House of Representatives endorsed the confirmation of Andrew J. McDonald as chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. His nomination goes to the Senate, where Republicans seem poised to block the promotion of the state’s first openly gay justice over issues the GOP says have nothing to do with sexual orientation.
The sharply partisan fight over the confirmation of Andrew J. McDonald as chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court has morphed into an unprecedented, full-throated political campaign likely to escalate Thursday with the broadcast of television ads urging Senate Republicans to drop their opposition.
Sen. Gayle Slossberg has recused herself from voting on the nomination of Andrew J. McDonald for chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court — a move that could weaken McDonald’s chances of confirmation.