05.02.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Cloture Motion On The Nomination Of John McConnell To Be A District Court Judge

“Senate consideration of John McConnell’s nomination is long overdue.  This nomination – reported three times by the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support – is strongly supported by the Senators from Rhode Island.  Mr. McConnell’s nomination has drawn bipartisan support from leading figures in Rhode Island.  These facts have traditionally propelled district court nominations to up-or-down votes in the Senate.  Shifting standards by Senate Republicans have changed the rules.  Even the most consensus of nominees face untoward delays in the path to confirmation.

“It is past time for the Senate to hold an up-or-down vote on this nomination.  I expect that Mr. McConnell will be confirmed with bipartisan support, just as his nomination was reported by the Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support.  I hope the Senate will be permitted to consider other long-pending judicial nominations.”

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BACKGROUND: John McConnell was nominated to fill a vacancy for the District of Rhode Island on March 10, 2010, Sept. 13, 2010, and January 5, 2011.  The nominee received the support of his home state senators, Senator Jack Reed and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.  He appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 13, 2010.  The Judiciary Committee has three times favorably reported his nomination to the full Senate with bipartisan support.

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