September 9, 2015

Reed and Whitehouse Announce Nomination of Mary McElroy to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island

President Obama officially nominates RI Public Defender Mary McElroy to succeed U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse today commended President Obama for nominating Rhode Island Public Defender Mary McElroy to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island.  Following an open and in-depth selection process, which included extensive interviews and careful deliberation, the Senators recommended Ms. McElroy’s nomination to the President in July.

“Mary McElroy is eminently qualified and will make an outstanding federal judge.  She is a dedicated public servant with a distinguished legal career.  As the first woman in state history to serve as Rhode Island’s top public defender, she is deeply committed to ensuring fairness and impartial justice under the law.  Throughout her impressive legal career, Ms. McElroy has demonstrated the highest levels of integrity, professionalism, and skill.  We are confident in her ability to serve justice, and her fellow Rhode Islanders, on the federal bench.  We believe Ms. McElroy is a well-qualified, consensus nominee and we hope her confirmation will proceed in a timely fashion,” said Reed and Whitehouse.

Ms. McElroy’s nomination will now be sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee to be reviewed and reported out by the Committee. Once that process is completed successfully, the nomination must be confirmed by the full Senate.

A Warwick native who currently resides in Coventry, Mary McElroy serves as the state’s Public Defender.  She is the first woman in Rhode Island history to hold this important post, which provides high-quality legal representation to all indigent citizens in Rhode Island in criminal, juvenile, and parental rights cases.  Ms. McElroy has over 20 years of legal experience at the state and federal level, having previously served as Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Office of the Federal Defender for the United States District of Rhode Island and as Assistant Public Defender in the Office of the Rhode Island Public Defender.

She graduated with honors from Suffolk University School of Law and also holds an undergraduate degree in history from Providence College.  She also clerked for the Honorable Donald F. Shea of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and was an associate with the Providence law firm Tate & Elias.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island is the state’s federal trial court that has jurisdiction to hear nearly all categories of federal cases, including both civil and criminal matters.

If confirmed by the full U.S. Senate, Ms. McElroy would fill a vacancy created by Judge Mary M. Lisi, who has announced that she intends to retire from regular active service and will assume senior status on October 1, 2015.  ‎


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