Governor's Nominee Would Be First Openly Gay State Chief Justice

Gov. Dannel Malloy's nominee to be Connecticut's next chief justice would be the first openly gay leader of a state Supreme Court. 

The Democratic governor announced Monday that longtime friend and current Associate Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald was his nominee for the court's highest post. Chief Justice Chase Rogers is retiring next month. 

“Justice McDonald has proven himself to be a consummate, revered jurist who has an exceptional ability to understand, analyze, research, and evaluate legal issues,” Malloy said in a statement. “He has a deep understanding of the role and the impact that the justice system has on the everyday lives of Connecticut residents, and the value of ensuring equality and fairness through the court’s many responsibilities. His experience having served as an Associate Justice on our state’s highest court, where he has undertaken some of the most complicated of cases in the state, will benefit him well in the position of Chief Justice. I am pleased that Justice McDonald has agreed to accept this challenge, and I am confident that his years of distinguished service on the bench will serve him well in this leadership capacity.” 

Puerto Rico Chief Justice Maite Oronoz Rodriguez became the first openly gay chief justice in U.S. history in February 2016. 

The 51-year-old McDonald has served on the Supreme Court for five years and was nominated by Malloy. Before that, he was general counsel for the governor's office under Malloy, a state senator from Stamford and corporation counsel for the city of Stamford when Malloy was mayor. 

McDonald must be confirmed by the legislature. 

“I am deeply grateful to Governor Malloy for the confidence and trust he has placed in me with this nomination,” McDonald said in a statement. “If confirmed by the legislature, it would be the honor of a lifetime to continue the great and tireless work of Chief Justice Rogers administering justice on behalf of the people of Connecticut in a fair, timely, transparent and efficient manner.” 

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