April 8, 2019

Whitehouse & Reed Statement on Trump Re-nominating Mary McElroy to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed today issued the following joint statement after President Trump re-nominated Rhode Island Public Defender Mary McElroy to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island. 

“We are pleased President Trump has re-nominated Mary McElroy.  She deserves to be confirmed on the merits and we’re committed to ensuring she gets an up or down vote by the full Senate.

“Mary McElroy has impeccable credentials, broad bipartisan support, and has already been vetted and strongly approved twice by the Judiciary Committee. 

“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,” stated Reed and Whitehouse.

This is now the third time Mary McElroy has been nominated to serve as a district court judge in Rhode Island.  In 2015, her nomination was first put forward by President Obama on the recommendation of Reed and Whitehouse, and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved her nomination, but no floor vote was ever scheduled.

McElroy’s nomination was returned to the White House in early 2017 at the expiration of the 114th Congress and end of Obama’s term. 

In 2018, President Trump re-nominated her, again on the recommendation of Reed and Whitehouse, and again she was approved by the Judiciary Committee, but did not get a floor vote before the 115th Congress expired.

Now that she has been re-nominated a third time, she must be again be approved by the Judiciary Committee and have her nomination voted on by the full U.S. Senate.

A Warwick native who currently resides in East Greenwich, 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.


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