Former State Sen. Andrew McDonald, 46, was overwhelmingly confirmed by the Connecticut General Assembly Wednesday as an associate justice on the State Supreme Court, making him the first openly gay person to hold such a position in Connecticut.
McDonald ran for state senate in 2002 on the Democratic ticket as an openly gay candidate, narrowly defeating future Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele for a seat previously held by current State Attorney General George Jepsen. He was elected to the 27th District five times before joining Gov. Dannel Malloy at the statehouse as legal counsel.
Despite never serving as a judge, the state legislative bodies overwhelming approved his appointment, with the State Senate and House voting 30-3 and 125-20, respectively.
According to a report on CTMirror.com, legislators who voted against McDonald’s confirmation cited his lack of judicial experience and not his sexual orientation, which did not come up during debate.
As McDonald takes the bench Thursday, he becomes the third Connecticut Supreme Court Justice to be appointed without any prior judicial experience, as the Hartford Courant points out — the former being appointed during the Lowell Weicker and Ella Grasso administrations.
Despite the lack of direct judicial experience, a number of legislators lauded his wider range of professional and life experience in their support of his confirmation.
McDonald is a native of Stamford, CT and received a bachelor’s degree in Government from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor from UConn Law.