July 12, 2023

Reed & Whitehouse Announce Selection Process for Federal Judgeship

U.S. Senators seek deep, diverse pool of highly qualified candidates for judicial seat on U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse today outlined the process for ensuring there are highly qualified applicants to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island that will be created when Judge William E. Smith takes senior status, effective January 1, 2025. Judge Smith will continue hearing cases, but on a more limited basis.

As Reed and Whitehouse commence their search for a new judge to sit on the District Court, they say the goal is a merit-based process that identifies a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates with a wide breadth of experience and perspective who can serve with professionalism, integrity, and distinction.

Candidates must possess outstanding legal ability and demonstrate a strong commitment to equal justice. In addition to at least 12 years of legal experience, candidates should understand the confirmation process is lengthy, includes a broad review of an applicant’s life, and can impact an attorney’s client work.  

All interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to Senator Reed’s office (1000 Chapel View Boulevard, Suite 290, Cranston, RI 02920) or e mail it to: District.Court@reed.senate.gov by July 28.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island is a federal trial court, which hears both civil and criminal matters.  It currently comprises Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr.; Judge William E. Smith; Judge Mary S. McElroy; and Magistrate Judges Lincoln D. Almond and Patricia A. Sullivan.

The vacancy created by Judge Smith taking senior status means President Biden may nominate a new federal district judge to replace Judge Smith.

It is customary for the President to ask U.S. Senators for recommendations for judicial appointments, although ultimately it is the President’s role to nominate a candidate who must then be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Chip Unruh (Reed), (202) 224-4642

Meaghan McCabe (Whitehouse), (202) 224-2921

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921