HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut chief justice nominee Andrew McDonald denies he’s an “activist” justice, a claim made by some of his opponents.

Conservative groups want lawmakers to reject McDonald, calling him an “activist” who puts his liberal political beliefs ahead of the law. Meanwhile, conservative lawmakers claim McDonald lacks the necessary experience.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s nominee has been an associate justice of the state’s highest court since 2013. He didn’t previously serve as a superior or appellate court judge.

McDonald appeared Monday before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

Asked by Democratic Rep. William Tong, a committee co-chairman, whether he’s an activist, McDonald answered, “no, I am not.”

McDonald says the accusation of judicial activism by liberals or conservatives “is in the eye of the person who dislikes the opinion” of a judge.