Senate Republicans in Connecticut on Tuesday banded together to block the confirmation of Andrew J. McDonald as chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.
One Democrat, Senator Joan Hartley of Waterbury, joined the chamber’s Republicans to reject McDonald’s confirmation with a 19 to 16 vote, The Connecticut Mirror reported.
McDonald, who narrowly won the endorsement of the House earlier this month, made history as the state’s first openly gay Supreme Court chief justice nominee. 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.
Republicans insisted his sexual orientation or party affiliation had nothing to do with their opposition to McDonald’s nomination. Republicans said that their opposition stemmed from how McDonald ruled in a handful of cases, including a decision on eliminating capital punishment in Connecticut.
Senator Beth Bye, a Democrat from Hartford and the Senate’s only openly gay member, disagreed.
“So forgive my skepticism that this has nothing to do with Justice McDonald being gay,” she said, noting how McDonald’s confirmation was a dramatic departure from previous confirmations.
McDonald’s nomination became the subject of a political campaign complete with media ads, a first in Connecticut for a Supreme Court nomination. 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.”
Senator Len Fasano, the Republican leader in the Senate, announced on Monday that the GOP would vote as a bloc to block McDonald’s nomination.
by Carlos Santoscoy
Source – On Top Magazine