Almost three years after Rhode Island's two U.S. senators announced Mary McEloy's nomination to be a federal judge, President Trump has revived McElroy's stalled judicial nomination. The move that could clear a logjam on federal appointments in Rhode Island since Trump took office in January 2017.
In a White House news release announcing a new wave of judicial nominations, Trump nominated McElroy for a judicial position in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island.
McElroy was recommended by U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, to fill an opening created by the retirement of Judge Mary Lisi, and her nomination was unveiled in July 2015. But her nomination stalled due to partisan politics in Washington.
U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse issued a joint statement Tuesday in support of McElroy’s nomination.
“We appreciate White House Counsel Donald McGahn working on behalf of President Trump in a bipartisan, collaborative manner to fill this vacancy,’’ the statement reads. “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.”
Trump's nomination notes the background of McElroy, the daughter of Edward McElroy, a former head of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO and former president of the American Federation of Teachers: "Mary McElroy serves as the Public Defender for the State of Rhode Island. Prior to assuming this post in 2012, she served for six years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of Rhode Island. Before joining the Rhode Island Federal Public Defender’s Office, Ms. McElroy served for twelve years as an Assistant Public Defender for the State of Rhode Island. Upon graduation from law school, Ms. McElroy served as a law clerk to Justice Donald F. Shea of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Ms. McElroy earned her B.A. from Providence College and her J.D., cum laude, from the Suffolk University School of Law."
Some key federal posts have not been the subject of new appointments since Trump took office -- mostly notably the role of U.S. attorney.
McElroy is a Warwick native and was appointed by then-Gov. Lincoln Chafee in 2012 to be the state's top public defender.
This post has been updated.