Gov. Dannel Malloy held a press conference on Monday to voice his criticism of Senate Republicans’ professed intention to vote against the nomination of Andrew McDonald, who would become Connecticut’s first openly gay chief justice in the country.
“I think the damage that is about to be done by Republicans serving in the Senate is unlike any damage they have ever debated inflicting upon the judiciary,” Malloy said.
The Senate is set to vote on McDonald’s nomination tomorrow. McDonald’s nomination passed in the house earlier this month by a slim margin of 75-74. The Senate is divided 18-17 with Republicans as the majority party.
Malloy discussed a call that he had on Monday with Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano during which he told Malloy all 18 Republicans intend to vote McDonald down.
Malloy said some of the questions McDonald was subjected to during his confirmation hearing were homophobic.
“Has any justice nominated to the bench in Connecticut been asked about his wedding before,” Malloy said.
Malloy responded to a question about whether he thinks the block is a resistance to him personally saying, “I think that part of it may be addressed to me, part of it may be addressed to the fact that they don’t like opinions he wrote, part of it has been addressed by people who don’t believe that a gay person should be on the Supreme Court.”
Malloy said Republicans’ efforts to block McDonald’s nomination is an example of stubborn partisanship that is detrimental to the judicial branch.
“They’re wrong and they don’t care about being wrong because they want to have a win and they ignore the damage the win will do to the judiciary,” Malloy said.
Malloy said he has re-nominated every Republican justice whose term has expired while he has been in office despite disagreeing with their views and rulings.
“I don’t believe in politicizing our bench…I ultimately decided it was best for our court system and our independent judiciary branch,” Malloy said.
Malloy said Republicans apparently do not share this spirit of nonpartisanship.
“The rule I have applied to myself apparently will no longer be the rule with respect to the court,” Malloy said.
Malloy said Republicans who vote against the “extremely qualified” McDonald should be held accountable by the voters for their actions.
“At a time when voters across this nation are taking a principled stand and rejecting Washington-style obstructionist tactics, you bet that they will be held accountable,” Malloy said.
Malloy said he has not “actively contemplated” what he will do if McDonald is not confirmed by the Senate.
Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com. She tweets @ZarraAnna.