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Connecticut Senate Democrats Invoke Legislative Rule In Last-Ditch Effort To Nominate McDonald

Mar 28, 2018

A day after the State Senate blocked the nomination of Andrew McDonald as Connecticut's next chief justice, Senate Democrats are hoping a for procedural do over. Democratic Senate President Martin Looney is calling for one of the 19 senators who voted against McDonald's nomination to file a motion to reconsider. 

If one of those senators agrees to file the motion, the nomination would go back to the senate for another vote.

Looney said the reason for this ”extraordinary measure” was because Tuesday’s vote was political and dangerous.

“The commentary we have seen before, and since that vote yesterday from the legal community, from the scholarly community, from all that care about Connecticut's judicial system indicate that that was a grave, grave mistake,” Looney told reporters Wednesday.

All 18 Republican senators, along with Democratic Senator Joan Hartley voted against McDonald's nomination. Many who voted no accused McDonald of legislating from the bench in his five years as an associate supreme court justice.

State Senator Beth Bye (D- West Hartford) said potential judges should be nominated based on their qualifications, not politics.

“Every person that spoke yesterday said, ’there's no doubt that McDonald is qualified.’ And yet we had a party line vote,” said Bye. “I think these times are unusual and that's why we are standing here today.”

Looney says a letter has been sent to all 19 Senators who voted against the nomination urging them to file the motion to reconsider.

It is unclear at this point whether there are senators who regret their vote Tuesday and wish to reconsider.

Republican Senate President Len Fasano brushed aside talk of reconsideration. “The State Senate already voted on this issue,” Fasano said in a statement. “Both Republicans and Democrats voted against the governor’s nominee. The vote is done. I look forward to learning who Governor Malloy will nominate next.”