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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Two former Connecticut Supreme Court justices advised Republican state lawmakers in last month's successful effort to reject Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's nominee for chief justice, according to emails and a state lawmaker.

Hearst Connecticut Media reports that former Justices C. Ian McLachlan and Peter T. Zarella aided lawmakers in defeating the nomination of Andrew McDonald, who would have been the first openly gay state chief justice in the country.

The media group obtained emails showing Republican lawmakers asked the former justices about McDonald's legal decisions.

McLachlan did not respond to requests for comment. Zarella says he didn't have any contact with legislators regarding McDonald.

McLachlan's cousin, Republican state Sen. Michael McLachlan, said they and Zarella discussed McDonald's nomination.

Malloy called McLachlan and Zarella ``cowards'' whose action ``undermined'' the judiciary. 

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