Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 14, 2013, 4:31pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) -- Connecticut's Judiciary Committee held a public hearing Monday on the nomination of a former state senator and one-time chairman of the committee to the state Supreme Court.

According to the committee's agenda, the hearing on Andrew J. McDonald's nomination, and other judicial nominees, was set to begin at 10:30 a.m.

Gov. Dannel Malloy nominated McDonald on Dec. 27 to replace Justice Lubbie Harper Jr., who had reached the mandatory retirement age.

McDonald's nomination requires the consent of the General Assembly.

The panel was expected to vote after the hearing and send the nominations to the full legislature.

McDonald, who currently serves as Malloy's legal counsel, would be the state's first openly gay Supreme Court justice if he is confirmed.

According to Malloy's office, McDonald has more than two decades of experience as an attorney in Connecticut.

For most of his legal career, he served as a litigation partner for Pullman and Comley LLC, where he chaired the firm's appellate practice. Additionally, he served as the director of legal affairs and corporation counsel for the city of Stamford from 1999 to 2002, when Malloy served as mayor.

"Having had the opportunity to work alongside Andrew McDonald in several capacities over the years, including both as a lawyer and as a public servant, I am convinced that he will be an excellent addition to our state's highest court and will serve the people of Connecticut well when he is confirmed to the bench," Malloy said in a statement in December.

"In each of the roles he has served, Andrew has proven to have an exceptional ability to understand, analyze, research and evaluate legal issues."

Malloy continued, "He has undertaken his legal work with a focus on giving back extensively to his community and a commitment to the equal rights of all residents. He will be an exceptional justice on the Connecticut Supreme Court."

In addition to his experience as an attorney, McDonald has held several elected positions in the state, including as senator of the 27th District from 2003 to 2011, where he served as deputy majority leader and senate chairman of the Judiciary Committee for eight years.

He served on the Stamford Board of Finance from 1995 to 1999, including two years as chairman, and as a member of the Stamford Board of Representatives from 1993 to 1995.

"I'm immensely grateful to the governor for the honor he has shown me through this nomination," McDonald said in a statement.

"Honoring the law and serving the people of this state have been the focus of my professional life, and I will be humbled by the opportunity to continue to do both on the Supreme Court if confirmed by the General Assembly."

McDonald lives in Stamford with his husband, Charles Gray.

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