March 7, 2024

Senate Judiciary Committee Gives Bipartisan Approval to RI Federal District Court Nominee DuBose

Nomination heads to the full Senate

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today announced that a bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee has backed the nomination of Melissa R. DuBose to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.  In a 12-9 vote, the Committee voted this morning to send the nomination to the full Senate for final confirmation, which requires approval by a simple majority.

DuBose’s nomination was announced by the White House in January after Whitehouse and U.S. Senator Jack Reed jointly recommended her for the seat to the President.  DuBose currently serves as an Associate Judge of the Rhode Island District Court.

“Ms. DuBose is a well-respected jurist who will make an exemplary federal judge.  She earned bipartisan support from members of the Judiciary Committee today – a testament to her professionalism, intelligence, and integrity.  I look forward to a swift confirmation by the full Senate,” said Senator Whitehouse, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee.

“Judge Dubose is exceedingly well-qualified and has a proven commitment to fairness, integrity, and justice.  Now that her nomination has been advanced out of committee, I look forward to her confirmation by the full U.S. Senate and elevation to the federal bench,” said Senator Reed.

DuBose’s nomination has earned widespread support from Rhode Island’s judicial and law enforcement communities.  A letter to the Judiciary Committee signed by all members of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island states, “Melissa’s integrity is beyond reproach; her professional competence is varied and deep; and her judicial temperament is exemplary.  Everyone on our Court is pleased at the possibility of welcoming Judge DuBose to the federal court if she is fortunate enough to be confirmed by the Senate.”  Local police leadersprosecutors, and current members of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and the broader judiciary also strongly advocated for her confirmation in letters submitted to the Committee. 

A native Rhode Islander, Melissa DuBose, 55, graduated from Providence College in 1990 with an undergraduate degree in Political Science and went on to receive her teaching certification from the Providence College School of Continuing Education. 

She taught history and civics in the Providence Public Schools for a decade and earned her Juris Doctor from Roger Williams University School of Law, graduating in 2004.  Upon earning her law degree, she was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General for Rhode Island and assigned to the criminal division from 2005 to 2008.  She went on to serve as senior legal counsel at Schneider Electric in Foxboro, Massachusetts, providing in-house legal support for the company’s global units and specializing in federal contracts, corporate compliance, ethics, and fair trade.

In December 2018, she was appointed to the Rhode Island District Court by Governor Gina Raimondo and confirmed by the Rhode Island State Senate the following month.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Judge DuBose would become the first person of color and first openly LGBTQ judge to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.  She would fill a vacancy created by Judge William E. Smith, who has announced that he intends to retire from regular active service and will assume senior status on January 1, 2025.

Located in Providence, the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island is a federal trial court, which hears both civil and criminal matters. 

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921