Jack Kramer / ctnewsjunkie

HARTFORD, CT – Associate Attorney General General Gregory T. D’Auria was nominated Wednesday to serve as a justice on the Connecticut Supreme Court by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

D’Auria, 53, of Hebron, has worked in the Office of the Attorney General for more than 23 years in a variety of roles.

D’Auria thanked Malloy for the nomination, adding: “If I am privileged enough to gain confirmation by the General Assembly you afford me by this nomination the chance to serve the state’s citizens in a new and exciting way.”

“I have devoted much of my career to practicing before our State Supreme Court and understand fully the tremendous responsibility that accompanies this position,” D’Auria added.

Malloy said he’s confident D’Auria’s public service will continue on the bench.

D’Auria, if he gains confirmation, will fill the spot previously held by Justice Peter T. Zarella, who retired from the court last December.

“For over two decades, Greg had distinguished himself as a talented appellate lawyer on behalf of Connecticut, serving in the Attorney General’s Office and advocating for the best interests of the people of our state on a variety of critical matters,” Malloy said.

D’Auria is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and is also a 1988 graduate of the UConn School of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Connecticut Journal of International Law.

In 2009, he was nominated and inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a distinguished national organization that works to advance the administration of justice and promote the highest standards of professionalism and advocacy in appellate courts.

In his work in the Office of the Attorney General, D’Auria has primarily focused on supervising the appellate litigation for the agency and also served in the role of training and assisting other attorneys throughout the agency on state and federal appeals.

Prior to that, D’Auria headed the Special Litigation and Charities unit and also served as Associate Attorney General for Litigation.

Malloy said if D’Auria is eventually confirmed, he would recuse himself from any court decisions where his prior work for the state may cause the appearance of a conflict of interest.

During his seven years in office, Malloy has nominated four individuals to the Supreme Court. All have been confirmed.

The governor said he doesn’t expect there to be any issues with D’Auria’s nomination – stating that “luckily our courts operate in a far less political way” than the United States Supreme Court.

Malloy was referring to the partisan political battle that stalled Democrat President Barack Obama’s attempt to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat last year with Judge Merrick B. Garland.

Republicans in Washington refused to even allow a hearing on Garland, instead allowing the Supreme Court to have a vacant position for a year.

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump sought to fill that vacancy with his choice, picking Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, a conservative similar in makeup as Scalia, to fill the vacancy.

Asked about Trump’s choice, Malloy said while he had some reservations about Gorsuch, “He deserves a committee hearing which wasn’t afforded President Obama’s nominee.”