Cases sent out of state due to judicial vacancy

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island's top federal judge says a four-year judicial vacancy has prompted her court to take the unusual step of reassigning more than two dozen cases to judges in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi tells The Associated Press she worries the court doesn't have the manpower to handle the 27 civil cases in a timely way.

President Barack Obama has nominated Jack McConnell to the judgeship three times, most recently in January, but some Senate Republicans have resisted the nomination.

One lawyer whose case was sent to New Hampshire is George Babcock, who's suing on behalf of more than a dozen clients in a foreclosures case. He says the move is upsetting to some of his clients and potentially expensive.

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