State Senate to vote on chief justice nominee for state Supreme Court

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State Senate to vote on chief justice nominee for state Supreme Court

The state Senate is expected to vote today on Gov. Dannel Malloy's pick for chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

Malloy says he won't pull Justice Andrew McDonald's nomination despite all 18 Republican senators planning to vote no.

If picked, McDonald, of Stamford, would be the nation's first openly gay chief justice of a state supreme court. But without at least one Republican vote, McDonald's nomination sinks.

Still, Malloy says he will not pull McDonald's name, and the vote will go on as scheduled.

Malloy says that Republican senators "should be held accountable" if they vote no, strongly suggesting that the GOP opposition is at least partly homophobic.

TV ads have accused McDonald's opponents of homophobia, but Republicans insist that sexual orientation has nothing to do with it; they've said he is simply too close to Malloy. They're also upset over McDonald's vote to overturn the death penalty, among other rulings.

Malloy says the message was clear during McDonald's unprecedented 13-hour confirmation hearing.

"Has any justice ever nominated to the Connecticut Supreme Court before been asked about his wedding?" Malloy asked. "Has any Catholic been asked about his religion and how it might affect his opinions on certain cases? Has that ever happened?"

Republican leader Len Fasano insists that there is no organized effort to kill McDonald's nomination. Fasano says he polled all 18 Republican senators individually, and they all said they'll vote no. On the other side, 17 of the 18 Democrats are expected to vote yes.

The Connecticut House of Representatives approved McDonald's nomination by a single vote.

McDonald was first approved to the state's Supreme Court in 2012 with widespread support.

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