Wolfgang Says He Has \”No Illusions\” About the Possibility of Defeating McDonald\’s Supreme Court Nomination

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A smattering of opponents turned out today to testify against former state Sen. Andrew McDonald\’s nomination to the state Supreme Court.

But one of McDonald\’s chief critics said he is under \”no illusions\” that McDonald will prevail.

\”Our real goal is essentially to have more no votes than normal, that would be a victory,\’\’ said Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut. \”But we have no illusions about the possibility of defeating him.\”

Wolfgang said he does not intend to testify though the group. Instead, he sent an email to the Family Institute\’s 10,000-member distribution list asking people to contact their lawmakers and register their oppoition to McDonald.

McDonald, a former state senator and chief legal counsel to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, would be the state\’s first openly gay justice if confirmed and was a leading advocate for gay rights in the legislature.

McDonald also angered FIC and other religious conservatives when the committee proposed a bill to give lay members more say in the financial matters of the Roman Catholic Church.

Several other critics submitted written testimony against his nomination to the judiciary committee. \”Can the Catholic community in Connecticut be assured by their representatives that McDonald  and his allies  will not impinge  on their lives by further judicial and legislative misconduct?\” wrote Paul Norton of Plymouth. \”I doubt it!\”

Stephen Mendelsohn of New Britain contends that McDonald exhibited \”a lack of sensitivity toward people with disabilities.\” He also cited McDonald\’s backing of a 2009 bill that would have legalized assisted suicide.

But lobbyist Betty Gallo wrote a letter praising McDonald. \”Andrew\’s leadership was essentially to the passage of some of the most important civil rights legislation passed by the Connecticut General Assembly,\’\’ she wrote. \”Andrew is a man of great integrity  and is one of the smartest people I know.\”


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