WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse today issued the following joint statement after President Trump nominated Rhode Island Public Defender Mary McElroy to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island. Reed and Whitehouse originally recommended Ms. McElroy for this seat on the federal bench nearly three years ago. Her nomination was put forward by President Obama in September of 2015 and she was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in January of 2016, but never received a vote by the full U.S. Senate.
“We appreciate White House Counsel Donald McGahn working on behalf of President Trump in a bipartisan, collaborative manner to fill this vacancy. He and his office handled this matter professionally and in a manner befitting Rhode Island’s traditions of thoughtful judicial nominations.
“Mary McElroy has impeccable credentials, broad bipartisan support in legal circles, and has already been vetted and unanimously approved on her merits by the Judiciary Committee. We are hopeful she will be confirmed by the full Senate with an overwhelming majority.
“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 on the federal bench. We believe Ms. McElroy is a well-qualified, consensus nominee and we hope her confirmation may now proceed in a timely fashion,” stated 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 assumed senior status in 2015.