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Stamford's McDonald Nominated To Be Nation's First Openly Gay Chief Justice

Gov. Dannel Malloy introduces Justice Andrew J. McDonald of Stamford, who he will appoint to serve as Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Gov. Dannel Malloy introduces Justice Andrew J. McDonald of Stamford, who he will appoint to serve as Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. – Longtime Stamford resident Andrew J. McDonald will be nominated in the coming weeks to serve as Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Monday.

If confirmed, McDonald will become the first openly gay Supreme Court chief justice of any state in the country

Current Chief Justice Chase Rogers last year announced her plans to retire from the bench Feb. 5 after 20 years of judicial service with the state.

McDonald has served as an associate justice of the high court since January 2013, following his nomination by Malloy. 

Upon his confirmation to the court in 2013, McDonald became the first openly gay appellate jurist in Connecticut history. 

“Justice McDonald has proven himself to be a consummate, revered jurist who has an exceptional ability to understand, analyze, research, and evaluate legal issues,” Malloy said. “He has a deep understanding of the role and the impact that the justice system has on the everyday lives of Connecticut residents, and the value of ensuring equality and fairness through the court’s many responsibilities." 

As an associate justice, McDonald "has undertaken some of the most complicated of cases in the state," which will benefit him as chief justice, Malloy said. 

“I am deeply grateful to Governor Malloy for the confidence and trust he has placed in me with this nomination,” McDonald said. “If confirmed by the legislature, it would be the honor of a lifetime to continue the great and tireless work of Chief Justice Rogers administering justice on behalf of the people of Connecticut in a fair, timely, transparent and efficient manner.”

McDonald also serves as chairman of the Connecticut Criminal Justice Commission, which appoints all state prosecutors within the Division of Criminal Justice.

For most of his three decades as an attorney, he served as a litigation partner for Pullman & Comley and chaired the firm’s appellate practice. 

Additionally, he served as director of legal affairs and corporation counsel for the City of Stamford from 1999 to 2002, when Malloy was mayor. He also served as General Counsel to Governor Malloy from 2011 to 2013.

In addition to his experience as an attorney, McDonald held was State Senator for the 27th Senatorial District of Stamford and Darien from 2003 to 2011, during which time he served as Deputy Majority Leader and Senate Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. 

From 1995 to 1999 he was elected to serve on the Stamford Board of Finance, including two years as chairman, and also was elected to the Stamford Board of Representatives from 1993 to 1995.

McDonald graduated from Cornell University in 1988 and received his law degree, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1991, where he was Managing Editor of the Connecticut Journal of International Law.

He lives in Stamford with his husband, Charles Gray.

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