Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has nominated Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald '91 to serve as the court's chief justice. McDonald has served on the court since 2013.
McDonald, who was born and raised in Connecticut, has been commended as a trailblazer in many aspects of his political and legal career. In 2005, a decade before the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, he helped pass a Connecticut law that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples. In 2013, he became one of four justices appointed to the state Supreme Court since the 1970s without prior service on a lower court. He is Connecticut's first openly gay justice, and if confirmed would be the first openly gay chief justice of the highest court in any state.
Although Malloy noted that the nomination is nationally significant, he said McDonald is qualified for the position based first and foremost on "his intellect, temperament and respect for the rule of law."
"Andrew McDonald is as deeply intelligent, hard-working and energetic as they come," Dean Timothy Fisher said. "He understands how the law serves as both the guardian of an orderly society and as instrument for change when needed."
During his time at UConn School of Law, McDonald was the managing editor of the Connecticut Journal of International Law. Before his appointment to the Connecticut Supreme Court, he was a litigation partner at Pullman & Comley from 1991 to 2011, and also served as a state senator from 2003 to 2011. McDonald has worked closely with Malloy throughout his career, serving first as director of legal affairs and corporation counsel for the city of Stamford from 1999 to 2002, when Malloy was mayor, and then as general counsel to Malloy during his first two years as governor.
If confirmed by the state legislature, McDonald will replace Chief Justice Chase Rogers, who announced in November that she will retire in February.