March 28, 2018/Press Releases

Will Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Embrace Mitch McConnell As Len Fasano Has?

Hartford, CT – Yesterday, the Senate Republican caucus voted to block Justice McDonald in a purely political stunt, the nature of which has never been seen in the Connecticut legislature before. Editorials from across the state, including the Hartford Courant and the Day, call out Republicans for exactly what this was: blocking a qualified judge for purely political reasons.

Every single Republican candidate will expect to have the power to nominate justices to the court in a little under a year, and while they all have their own thoughts on Justice McDonald, few have stated how they feel about members of their own party bringing the national, right-wing, obstructionist agenda of Mitch McConnell here to Connecticut.

  • Toni Boucher and Prasad Srinivasan have said both let CT voters know that they will prioritize political grandstanding over the rule of law by voting with their Senate and House caucuses to block the nomination of Justice McDonald, who is eminently qualified to be Chief Justice and has the support of bipartisan lawyers across the state
  • Tim Herbst said that we “cannot put politics before the law.” And we agree, which is why Republicans are setting a dangerous precedent by poisoning the nonpartisan nature of previous judicial appointments in Connecticut.
  • Mark Boughton said that Justice McDonald “would not have been his selection.” Does he support the Republican caucus’ decision to allow personal and partisan preference to outweigh qualifications?
  • Peter Lumaj said that Justice McDonald “wasn’t qualified” to be Chief Justice despite multiple experts saying otherwise.
  • Mark Lauretti said there was “too much ideological difference” between them. Lauretti will have less trouble finding ideological distance between himself and Mitch McConnell.
  • Steve Obsitnik said this was a question of legal qualifications, yet Senator Fasano himself admitted that Justice McDonald is qualified, as have several news outlets and lawyers on both sides of the aisle.
  • Dave Walker said that Justice McDonald’s friendship with Governor Malloy should not be a deciding factor. Does he support Republicans blocking this nomination, since friendship shouldn’t be a factor?
  • Mike Handler: No comment.
  • Bob Stefanowski: No comment.
  • And Erin Stewart: No comment.

“Voters deserve to know if Republican gubernatorial candidates support the Republican state legislature and their actions to politicize the judicial branch,” said Connecticut Democratic Party Communications Director Christina Polizzi. “Connecticut Republicans have set a dangerous precedent by politicizing a qualified nominee who was treated differently than every Chief Justice nominee who came before him. Republican candidates need to let Connecticut know if they support the obstructionism of the Senate Republican caucus or respect for the rule of law.”